Based in Truro, Pete uses mainly locally sourced materials and specialises in 'rustic' work which leaves a combination of the turned wood and the natural wood and bark. We caught up with Pete to find out more about the man who turns unloved wood into stunning, functional pieces.....
Tell me what inspires you…..
I trawl other turners sites and also do image searches for glassware, pottery and such like, as I have found that for most things there are only a few basic designs that are then adapted. Aside from that, a lot of my rustic work is inspired by the wood itself as I turn it. I try to work with it, not just chop it up into a preconceived shape.
How did you get started?
I did a bit in school a few years ago…well a bit more than a few, then didn’t touch a lathe until I was given an attachment for a drill. It took me a couple of weeks to get fed up with the limitations and so I smiled sweetly at my better half who bought me a lathe for Christmas about four years ago.
Wedding Goblets - Sold as a pair, made to order
Whose work do you admire?
There are so many turners out there who are worthy of mention. Too many to mention them all. Some like Binh Po for his exquisite artwork, Cindy Drozda for the delicacy of her work and Nick Agar for the sculptural work he does.
Describe your typical working day….
I wake up and check my e-mails first then have a check on what commissions I have. Any I have in stock I will pack up ready for posting then it’s straight out to the workshop. I usually have several pieces on the go at once as I try and have something I ‘want’ to do as well as things I ‘have’ to do.
The pieces I like doing most are the rustic pieces. These can take a while and don’t sell as much as my crafting items so I can play with those in-between commissions. My biggest problem is disciplining myself, as I can easily be distracted by a piece of wood with unusual markings or grain. If I am not careful and end up working on that instead of on what someone has paid me to do.
Rustic Bowl - made from unknown reclaimed wood
What is your favourite type of wood to work with and why?
Yew is probably my favourite wood for turning as its lovely to turn and you can get some fantastic colours and shapes with it. To be honest any wood that someone else would throw out is a challenge I find hard to resist.
Do you have a favourite piece that you have created?
I keep changing my mind on what is my favourite piece as the longer I have a piece the more faults I see in it. I am often really pleased with something at first then as time goes by I find fault with it.
What traditional methods do you use in your work?
Apart from the fact that I use an electric lathe, I suppose most of my methods are pretty traditional. I use fairly few tools instead of having loads of fancy ones. I cut my wood up to a basic shape using a chain saw and axe and I sand the wood by hand. I also use traditional finishes such a beeswax and ordinary vegetable oil as my main finish. Many of the crafting tools and equipment that I make are traditionally handmade and so I research those and try to remain faithful to the originals.
Where do you source your materials from?
Garden pruning, hedgerows, storm damaged trees, old thrown out furniture, in fact anywhere. My main store for wood seems to be Freecycle at the moment. It's surprising what you can get. I do occasionally buy Beech and Sycamore if I have to for food related items, as you have to be careful - but I can count the number of times that has happened on one hand and still have fingers left over.
Mandarin Box - Made from an old unwanted dresser
What is on your wish list?
One or two tools and a really decent workshop.
When work is done, how do you relax?
As I am fortunate enough to enjoy what I do, I rarely get wound up when working so it doesn’t really apply. I read a lot, at least 3 or 4 books a week and once in a blue moon watch something on the TV, usually gardening or self sufficiency type programmes. I have been told that if I was any more laid back I’d fall over.
To see Pete’s range of products visit:-
Bodrighy's Etsy Shop
Bodrighy's Folksy Shop