In the mid - eighties my Dad gave me a presant of a book on Woodwork, at the time I was working as a Shop Fitter in Switzers Department Store in Dublin and he no doubt though that this book would come in useful in my job. Little did he or I realise that it would be the catalyst that would take me in a very different path. It was the section on Woodturning that inspired me to turn my first tiny bud vase out of a piece of 'pine' on a drill. I have been woodturning ever since.
I started turning on a fulltime basis from the end of the 'eighties' and up until about 2003 I turned pretty much 7 days a week, it was probably a bit of an obsession! Demand for my work was high and my passion to make it was equally as high. I will admit to being a perfectionist and I set very high standards and goals for myself.
In September 2003 my wife and I moved to Kilkenny where I took a year and a half out to build our new home.... which was a great experience and a fantastic learning curve, i wouldn't change that for the world, I know every nail and screw that went into our home, intimately.
When I got back to my turning in 2005 I found that the economy was changing and things were begining to slow down. This changing economy along with recurring allergies to dust, which is every woodworkers worst nightmare slowed my output, but the passion is still there..........and I am still turning! ...............and I have also branched out into various other areas of woodworking and now include occasional pieces of furniture, stairs, gates and some antique furniture restioration into my reputoire.
The artwork of Ancient civilizations have always been a fascination of mine, especially our own Celtic civilization. I regularly visit the Museums in Dublin and am constantly trawling through the various books that I have collected over the years. A detail on a Celtic Cloak Pin or some aspect of a Jim Fitzpatrick painting will find itself translated into detail on one of my Torc's or vessels. My ebonised boxes were inspired by a film I saw based around the Mongul Empire! I always have a sketch book to hand for that moment when the muses strike. Moody sets in movies and plays or simply biting into a malteeser can all give birth to new ideas.
Although I mainly use the lathe, I don't get too caught up with the techniques of woodturning for technique sake, I use the lathe and the medium more for the end result.