Text by Martin Lodge
Photographs by John Glynn
It was the first workshop of the year so like we did for the last few years in January we headed off to Brain Callan’s workshop in Craughwell. Everyone loves heading to Brian’s workshop some because it is so tidy, spacious and full of gadgets of the woodworking type and some for the current bread. Some even go to learn something about woodwork. Luckily for everyone who attended there was something for everyone.
The workshop was as tidy as usual not easy for a workshop that is used every day in Brains Profession. A good attendance from the Galway Chapter gathered. Brian kept us in suspense as to what he was making turning a small object between centres a bit bigger than an egg, to this he added 2 ears 2 eyes and a tail and it then looked like a mouse which was just as well as that was what it was intended to be. Brian then cut a sycamore disc on the band saw with his circle cutting jig. He then drill a series of holes of 2 different sizes and inlaid some walnut pieces into the holes which were drilled at random kinda of. He then turned this on the lathe to make a lovely cheese board with Walnut inlay. Then he put the mouse onto it with a dowel hence he ended up with a lovely cheeseboard with mouse attached…cheesy or what.
At this stage after a bit of applause Brian started lining up the next project much to the disappointment of the troops most who had tea on their mind…. a hard bunch to please this Galway Chapter. After dropping a few hints our host got the message and we retreated to the warmth of the house. There the chat and real tea flowed in harmony as usual on these occasions. The tea was lubricated with much homemade produce including the now famous current bread and some left -overs from the Christmas… no not Turkey but Quality Street and the like. Edel put on a lovely tea and refreshments for us to go with warmth and welcome that is always available in the cosy Callan House. It was very hard to leave this for the workshop but eventually we did Quality Street in tow. Brain was trying very hard to shift these.
For the second session Brian did some off centre turning as this was the challenge piece for the next meeting. I cannot describe how Brain dine these projects but mounting between centres and moving the axis over and back he made a lovely Figurine and an off centre candle holder. Brian made these look easy and also completed his piece for the next meeting clever Brian. After these was a healthy discussion about off centre turning which went completely over my head probably as i was still picking away at the quality street. But there were more leftovers to be had in the form of Brian’s waste pile which he made available to the Chapter. Lovely off cuts of various woods including walnut and Ironwood in various sizes. I hope they put it to good use and that we see many projects at the meetings from this. Me I had to stick to the sweets… where would I be going with……
Many thanks to Brain and Edel for a lovely night and hope its not too long till we arrive here again.