Why were you so attracted to woodturning when you saw it that day?
Within what seemed like a few minutes I saw a lump of wood being transformed into a bowl, a vase or a platter, and I just thought: this is magic. I felt like a child in a sweet shop for the first time. I just watched and watched and watched.
Why do you turn your pieces so thin?
I love the look of surprise on people’s faces when they pick up a piece and are taken aback by the lightness of it. I also find inspiration in ceramics. Lucie Rie was a huge inspiration to me when I was starting out. I love the delicacy and the apparent fragility of her pieces, and I love trying to capture that in my work.
© Roger Bennett
How does colour affect your work?
Certain woods lend themselves very well to colouring. The colouring techniques that I use actually enhance what is inherent in the wood, the grain patterns and so on. When the turning is absolutely finished, I paint the dye on very quickly and wipe off the excess with tissue.
What are the challenges of using dyes?
Because I am using water-based dye, the pieces can go out of shape, which is quite scary. I carefully dry them with a hairdryer and keep my fingers crossed they will come back into shape. Sometimes it goes out of shape in an interesting way and you can make that a feature, but sometimes it just goes wrong, and then you have a very expensive piece of firewood!