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  Selected Makers

Richard Shock

What began in the year 2000 as a hobby turned into a passion and then a career without ever losing the fascination of seeing what is inside an apparently unpromising lump of wood.

My work is turned on a lathe, supported by traditional cabinet making techniques and tools when enhancing the work with inlays, and occasionally carving.

I started making bowls and platters and they still form a major part of my work.  Functional objects should also have pleasing design;  I also look at the work of makers in other media, seeking to develop but not to plagiarise.

Decoration is determined particularly by the figuring and grain of the wood and any faults or knots.  In general, for woods with plain figuring, I decorate with beads, coves and my signature inlays, while those with burrs and ripples, and the swirls of crotch wood, need no further enhancement.

My inlays, which I have developed over several years, start with banding of different colours edge-joined and then cut into interesting patterns which I then set into shallow channels in the rims of platters.  I have also developed the discus form pioneered by other woodturners to explore mixing colours and textures to create objects which are purely decorative.

Initially I experimented with woods from all over the world.  However, understanding the characteristics of many different woods, concern for sustainability and a realisation that many British native woods are ideal, means that I use mainly ash, sycamore, elm and beech (but not oak to which I am allergic).  I do use a few selected exotic species such as bubinga and eucalyptus whose beauty is unsurpassed and when I can be sure that they have been harvested sustainably.

I was selected as a member of the Oxfordshire Craft Guild in 2003 and as a Registered Professional Turner (managed by the Worshipful Company of Turners) in 2007.

 
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