National Village Halls Week

We were pleased to be involved in the National Village Halls Week, which took place between 22 and 28 January this year.

The first Village Halls Week was held in 2018, and this year the Little Thetford Village Hall was chosen to host the launch event.

We were invited to have a stand at the kick-off day, so a few of our members went along to represent the Guild.

We put on a fairly good show, with our club lathe out for people to look at, members on hand to answer quetsions about woodturning, a stand highlighting some of the members' work, and some general information about the Guild.

A good day was had by all, and it was lovely to be invited to participate!

An interview with "The Blind Woodturner"

Chris Fisher lost his sight to a rare virus 10 years ago. As a skilled engineer and automotive body repair specialist, Chris had always worked with his hands but had never done any woodturning before going blind. 

It took four years, but Chris found his way to woodturning and is now a highly regarded maker and demonstrator with a growing following as he travels the country to share his story.

Recently married to Nicola and now with guide dog Bamber very much part of the family, Chris – trading as The Blind Woodturner – is an inspiration not only to newcomers to woodturning, but to a wider audience of people facing difficult life challenges.

Chris recently committed to a tour of all the Axminster stores, starting in Warrington on January 26th.

Check out this inspirational interview on this link

(Text & link taken from the Axminster website)

Tennessee Woodturning Symposium

Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, Franklin, TN, USA

25 - 26 January 2019

Florida Woodturning Symposium

Lake Yale Baptist Conference Centre, 39034 County Rd. 452, Leesburg, Florida 34788, USA

8 - 10 February 2019

Oregon Woodturning Symposium

Linn Country expo Centre, 3700 Knox Butte Road, Albany SE, OR, USA

15 - 17 March 2019

Midlands Woodworking & Power Tool Show

Newark Showground, Lincoln Rd., Winthorpe, Coddington, Newark, NG24 2NY

22 - 23 March 2019


Seaworld Resort, Seaworld Dr., Main Beach, Queensland, Australia

29 - 31 March 2019

Totally Turning

Saratoga Springs City Centre, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York, 12866, USA

30 - 31 March 2019

Crafts Supplies/Turners Retreat Open Day

Unit 2, Faraday Close, Charworth, Nottinghamshire, DN11 8RU

6 April 2019


Daventry Leisure Centre, Lodge Road, Daventry, NN11 4FP

10 - 11 May 2019

Makers Central

NEC, National Exhibition Centre, North Ave, Marston Green,

Birmingham, B40 1NT

11 - 12 May 2019

Utah Woodturning Symposium

UCCU Events Centre, 800 W University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058, USA

16 - 18 May 2019

AAW Symposium

Raleigh Convention Centre, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

11 - 14 July 2019

UK & Irish Woodturning Symposium

Doubletree Hilton Hotel, Conventry

20 - 21 July 2019

Rocky Mountain Woodturning Symposium

The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds, 5280 Arena Cir, Loveland, CO 80538, USA

14 - 16 September 2019

Irish Woodturners Guild Seminar

Radisson Blu Hotel, Ennis Road, Burtonhill, Limerick, Ireland

19 - 20 October 2019

Chestnut Products Woodturning Weekender Springfields Event Centre, Spalding, Lincolnshire

3 - 4 August 2019


Andy Coates

All-Day Demo

We really enjoyed the all-day demonstration by Andy Coates last weekend.

The demo was interesting and fun, and he managed to demo four pieces during his time with us. The first, a round-bottomed bowl with feet, the second, a beautiful winged bowl with a lidded inset, the third, a lovely-shaped vase, and the fourth, a beautifully-figured bowl which he left behind for one of our members to finish off.

To discover more about Andy Coates, check out his website, but here's some general info.

Andy started turning in 2003 after having five minutes on his Father-In-Law's lathe in Suffolk. A lathe was purchased in a sale and taken back to London where he then lived, and Andy spent a few months chasing it around the patio clamped to a workmate.

A move from London to Suffolk three months later led to a temporary new 6ft by 8ft shed, a new lathe and 12 months of making decorative firewood. Andy was bitten by the bug.

By 2006, Andy had started selling work at craft events and was turning full time when he was recommended for the RPT. In the same year, Andy was also co-opted onto the committee of the AWGB where he stayed for ten years, ending his time there as Chairman.

Andy's passion is for decorative speculative work, but as a full-time turner he has to do a bit of everything from replica cabinet knobs, spindles and newels, architectural components, antique restorations, to making a ducking chair for Professor Alice Roberts' Channel 4 series on Tudor Towns.

Andy writes for Woodturning Magazine, demonstrates and teaches.

Clive's Slot on "Over To You"

Our Chair, Clive, represented the Guild on Friday 10 August on the Huntingdon Community Radio's "Over to You" community access programme, which is broadcast between 7pm and 8pm

The show is designed for clubs, societies and charities to present their local organisation to the public - so it was a great platform for the EGW!

Clive talked about the EGW and his passion for woodturning, and was able to get in a plug about our "Art in Wood" exhibition and gallery sale which took place in August 2018.

If you missed the radio show, you can click here to listen to it.

Art in Wood 2018

We hosted our annual “Art in Wood” exhibition & sale from 18 - 27 August (10 am - 5 pm) at the Cathedral Centre (opposite the beautiful Ely Cathedral).

The event was officially opened by Councillor Charles Roberts using the inspired idea of sawing through a piece of wood as opposed to cutting a ribbon - genius!

Our members submitted lots of their pieces and gave the public a chance to see the versatility of our craft.

Each day, a member of the Guild also demonstrated woodturning on a lathe located outside the venue.

In addition to the enthusiasm we received for the pieces in the exhibit and on sale, we think we may have inspired a few people to take up the craft and come along to our next session and see what we're all about.

The EGW has been exhibiting since 2004.

For the first three years, the EGW held the event together with the Art Society, but started hosting its own independent exhibition thereafter.

The name of the exhibition was brought to the table by Brian Wallace after a holiday in France where he came upon an exhibition called “L’art du bois”. The exhibition was full of turned and carved woodwork created by just one man.

So, "Art in Wood" was formed in 2007, with the aim of presenting a high-class exhibition and sale that would be more sophisticated than a standard craft fair.

Art in Wood has continued in the same format ever since, with the addition of live woodturning demonstrations on some days.

We hope you enjoyed viewing our members’ work.

If you have any queries regarding Art in Wood, feel free to e-mail Mike, our Art in Wood Co-ordinator.

Check out our little video clip here!

Little Thetford Feast

We enjoyed being involved again in the Little Thetford Feast on 14 July. It was a very hot summer's day, and it was evident that all the visitors had a great time.

We set up just outside the Little Thetford Village Hall, which also plays host to our monthly EGW meetings.

We held demonstrations throughout the afternoon, and also had various items for sale.

A number of people watched the demos, took our leaflets and showed an interest in the craft.

The Feast managed to raise a wonderful £1600 to go towards its "Speed Awareness" campaign for the village.

For more information about the feast, check out the Little Thetford Village Hall Facebook page.

Hands-On Day 2018

The Guild enjoyed an incredibly successful hands-on day on Saturday 21 April at The Little Thetford Village Hall.

The event has been held for a number of years, but this year saw a record number of attendees including young and old alike.

Members of the public were able to have a go at woodturning under the expert eye and guidance of some of our senior, expert turners. The hall was equipped with numerous lathes, a pyrography table and a large selection of members’ work for people to see.

One of the highlights of the day was a visit from the Mayor of Ely, Cllr Richard Hobbs. He even had a “turn” himself, although we made sure he removed his Chain of Office first!

It was great to see quite a few young people under the age of fourteen trying their hand at the craft, and one lady who had a go actually completed a bowl and took it away with her – smiling faces all round.

Well done to our Treasurer, Malcolm Arter, for organising the day, and to all those EGW members who helped to make the day run smoothly. We hope this event has encouraged some of the visitors to take up the craft, and maybe join our Ely Guild of Woodturners too.

If anyone is interested in seeing more of our work, then do come along to our annual Art in Wood exhibition, which this year is being held between 18 – 27 August at the Cathedral Centre in Ely. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter!

Photographs provided courtesy of Michael Rouse / Ely Standard.

Clive's Interview with Jeremy Sallis

Our Chair, Clive Baker, was invited to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to chat to presenter, Jeremy Sallis, on his live show on 26 March 2018.

Clive talked about the EGW and his passion for woodturning. He was also able to mention our annual Woodturning Hands-On Day which is being held on Saturday 21 April at the Little Thetford Village Hall from 10am until 4pm.

If you missed the Jeremy Sallis Show, click here to listen to it. The interview starts at 2 hours, 25 mins.

Simon's Interview with Sue Marchant

One of our members, Simon Taggart, played host to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Sue Marchant on 26 March 2018. He showed Sue around his workshop and spoke about woodturning, what being a member of the Ely Guild of Woodturners is all about, and the various events we are holding this year.

If you missed the Sue Marchant Show, click here to listen to it. The interview starts at 31 mins, 40 seconds.


Art in Wood

Our summer exhibition and sale, 'Art In Wood', took place between 19 and 28 August 2017 at the usual venue opposite Ely Cathedral.

Once again it proved a very successful event, with visitors coming from far and wide to view and buy the excellent range of items on display.

Thanks to the many members who gave their time to carry out steward duties or to demonstrate woodturning to the public.

This year's 'Art In Wood' will be held at the same venue (opposite the magnificent Ely Cathedral) from 18 through to 27 August 2018. We hope our members will be submitting lots of their pieces and giving the public a chance to see the versatility of our craft. If members have any queries, feel free to e-mail Mike, our Art in Wood Co-ordinator.

Hands-On Day

Last year's Hands-On Day took place on Saturday 22 April and was warmly received.

Members of the public, novice turners and established members were able to try woodturning under the expert eye and guidance of some of our senior and expert members.

We're sure this year's Hands-On Day will be fun too, and we're really looking forward to meeting members of the public

who are keen to see what we do, and maybe even have a go themselves.

Little Thetford Feast Day

The Ely Guild of Woodturners had a stand at the Little Thetford Feast Day on 8 July 2017.

Great fun was had by all, and the Guild donated 10% of its proceeds to the worthy cause of providing a village defibrillator, which is now in place.

It was great to be part of this fun and very worthwhile event!