Colwin Way : Woodturner, Woodworker, Tutor and Demonstrator
I was born in 1970 in the coastal town of Lyme Regis on Dorset’s beautiful Jurassic coast.
My interest in woodturning started at school when I was 12 where I had my first chance to use a lathe. The project was a table lamp made up from glued together offcuts and turned to a rough shape on a union graduate lathe.
So taken with my lamp I decided to do a 3 week work experience placement with a local woodturning workshop owned and ran by Geoffrey Manley. This was my first chance to turn a bowl and work with some really interesting materials such as bone, horn and jet.
That was it, my hobby began! At home my parents cleaned out the shed and with Geoffs help bought me my first lathe, a Myford ML8. I spent many hours just making things before starting selling a few pieces to friends and then onto my first craft shows to then supplying local shops and galleries, all while still at school.
At the age of 17 Geoffrey offered me a position with him as an apprentice which I immediately accepted. My apprenticeship lasted 5 years and was incredibly important in my growth as a turner, having the opportunity to turn under guidance for this amount of time for a woodturner is very rare.
After finishing my apprenticeship I became a self employed woodturner making for Galleries and local shops as well as demonstrating and selling through craft shows. At this time I also moved out of my parents and in with my girlfriend, now wife, into a small stable cottage in Uplyme, Lyme regis.
At this same time a job became available on a nearby farm, managing the small farms woodland. The farm also had a workshop which I soon moved into and meant I could divide my day between woodland management and woodturning. This was an opportunity for me to take several chainsaw and woodland training courses including felling, crosscutting, thinning, planting and even low impact timber extraction with heavy horses.
In 1998 I was approached by Axminster Tools and Machinery to come in and look at becoming a trainer for them, teaching courses and demonstrating. Once again my journey changed direction and within a year I was visiting other countries demonstrating all things woodturning on behalf of Axminster Tools & Machinery.
I’m proud to say I was on the first ever Norwegian woodturning cruise way back in 2001 and have been on a further 2 since. I’ve demonstrated in many countries including the UK, USA, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland.
My other interests include cycling, running, swimming and kayaking and I have recently become a member of a local Triathlon club competing in two triathlons in 2018. My wife and I love to walk and will often be out with our Border terrier walking the coastal paths near our home town of Lyme Regis on the stunning Jurassic coast.