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© Shane O'Neill Photography courtesy of RDS
Tracing Venice

Roger Bennett


When Roger Bennett took a year’s sabbatical from his career as a secondary school teacher in Dublin, he was always intending to go back. But one day he was mesmerised by a woodturning demonstration and the experience changed his life. That very day, he decided he had to try woodturning for himself. He joined an evening class, bought a lathe and set up a workshop in his garden, and soon was selling pieces in a local market. One year turned into four, before Roger finally told his school he wasn’t going back. He now specialises in making woodturned bowls, vessels and wall pieces, turned very thin, coloured with water-based dyes and inlaid with silver.


To create many of his silver inlay patterns, Roger Bennett uses the vector graphics software Corel Draw. For example, using the program he can draw a straight line and then undulate it, taking control of the amplitude of the undulations, the number of dots and the spacing between the dots. He prints the design, sticks this template on the wood, and pricks through the paper to mark the position of the silver dots. Roger then drills holes into the wood, but not through it, and carefully glues in short lengths of silver wire, holding each piece tightly in a pair of pliers. After snipping off the protruding bits, he sands the metal flush with the wood. He colours the wood with water-based dyes and finishes with Danish oil.

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