Meet a Creative: An Artistic Woodturner, Chris Fisher

Meet a Creative: An Artistic Woodturner, Chris Fisher

I suppose the obvious place to start is with my name and what I do. My name is Chris Fisher and I was born in Birkenhead. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it may help if I said its across the river Mersey from Liverpool and that’s on the west coast of England. I now live in Cleethorpes on the East coast with my wife and two lathes. For my sins I’m a Woodturner, it could be said I’m an artistic Woodturner. The reason for that is once I’ve turned whatever it is I’m turning I have been known to throw some paint at it, or do some Pyrography or even leave it as nature intended

How it all started.

Have you ever had one of those moments when a light bulb comes on in your head, well that’s what happened to me while visiting my friend Mike Campion. I knew he was a Woodturner  but it meant nothing to me, that is until I saw his lathe and what it did. Well, that was my light bulb moment in April 2003. So I saved up bought a lathe, the wrong one, and some tools, they were also wrong. The moral of that story is seek advice before you do anything. As time went by I got better at turning with a lot of help from fellow turners who are now really good friends. I also joined a Woodturning club which was invaluable to my learning process. My Woodturning club is called Lincolnshire Wolds Woodturners and we meet twice a month in a village called West Ashby.

After turning for a couple years I found that just turning the wood was not enough, something was missing, so I started using artists acrylic paints and it was okay up to a point, the problem was the paint is opaque and it hides the grain.

The Turning point

I came across the work of Binh Pho he used an airbrush and transparent paint. Well that changed everything! His work is complex, detailed and colourful. A whole new set of skills was needed for airbrushing, masking out, air pressure and so much more. I will never be a expert and I don’t care, it’s just so much fun. One annoying thing about airbrushing is, I spend ages masking out an area and do any cutting out that’s needed, then you airbrush what needs to be painted which takes maybe a minute, then I take all the masking off and I’m thinking, is it really worth all this time. It’s only when you have removed all the masking to reveal the painting I say yep it was worth it.

My next acquisition was a Pyrography machine which I had never used before, again lots to learn, what temperature, what nib how hard do I press. I love doing random patterns with flowing lines and every piece is done free hand I don’t transfer images onto the wood. The next tool acquired was an air driven turbine, a bit like a dentist’s drill and with this tool I am able to texture and pierce the wood which gives a fine lattice effect.

I do like to do my own thing but I do find the work of potters, those talented people who work with clay very exciting, all that colour, texture and wonderful shapes, so it would be fair to say that I am influenced by their work. As far as the future direction my work will take, well, I think I will keep on doing what I’m doing,

I like the uncertainty and shear fun of it. If you put the woodturning and the arty side together I wouldn’t say it’s something I want to do, I would say it’s something I need to do.

 

 

To see more of Chris’s beautiful pieces click here

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