I am inspired by wood and that's why I do what I do 

 

  

 

I have started exhibiting and selling some items from the Jabulani Gallery in Milford on Sea, which is owned and run by Sally hamilton, who paints some beautiful watercolours.
This year has been another great year for lovers of all things wood, a big demand for everyday practical items, such as small bowls, chopping boards, rolling pins, things that will last in a living household environment. It is such a pleasure in knowing that these items will exist in the real world away from the workshop in which they were created. Some of my bigger stand alone bowls have gone off to be wedding presents and long may they give pleasure to their new owners or guardians, as unlike glass or ceramics wooden things do bounce, mostly. 

 I have started to inlay some of my larger bowls with pewter which has produced some lovely finishes along with some technical challenges

I look forward to seeing familiar faces and new ones in 2015 at the Hampshire Open Studio event 22nd to the 31st August.

 I AM AVAILABLE IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VIEW BY APPOINTMENT,  AT MY HOME ADDRESS


Hello

I'm Eric Gibbons, welcome to my site, I live in the old New Forest village of Boldre, which is just 2 miles out of Lymington in Hampshire. 

I hope that you will enjoy the few pieces I have in my galleries. Some are entirely created on the lathe, some are turned and carved to enhance the final outcome. 
Where I can, I try to use local woods from our New Forest National Park. Many are given to me by friends and those aware that turners very rarely turn wood down ( a really spontaneous pun, apologies !) 

Spalted woods are of special interest to me. Spalting is when the tree has died and has been subject to moist conditions. The decaying process starts to produce a black virus which produces beautiful and delicate random lines and streaks of colour through the timber. Beech was the very first, elm and holly followed. All are so different from the original sound wood, they become almost like pottery in colour and design.

I am very drawn to bowl turning as I love the practicality of creating useful objects, things that people will become used to and handle often.  It makes for a very personal relationship with the bowl, the turner and the owner.

Many people enjoy giving wooden objects as gifts, especially for birthdays and weddings and especially 5th wedding anniversary (Wood) presents. In addition to a wide selection of different wooden bowls, vases  and platters, I also turn wooden candlesticks and lamp bases  and make spalted wood picture and mirror frames.

Almost always I am lead by the timber blank "telling" me what it wants to be.  Occasionally I will get my own way but one has to listen to the wood most of the time. Generally I like simplicity of design but often try other approaches, just to keep expanding the technical skill levels which need to be honed continually.

 

I trained as a carpenter and joiner and had my own building company until April 2004 when I had to cease work due to painful, chronic Rheumatoid arthritis. Even through this awful period I did manage to turn a very occasional bowl which helped to keep my spirits up. Fortunately I am much improved now,  due to some amazing injections.

I first wood turned at Ashley Secondary School, when I was 15 I think. I made a set of egg cups on a stand which I still have today, not used but in the workshop. How could I possibly put them on the wood burner? During my apprenticeship our old painter foreman Les Ruston  gave me a hessian bag with 6 lathe tools in it. I carried these around with me for some 35 years before they were used properly.  Years ago I had a treadle lathe given to me and had a go but the time was not right and it never inspired me so the lathe was passed on to someone else. I can't remember who, but it would have kept one leg very fit if I recall. In 1998 I bought a Draper WTL90 variable speed lathe and started to have some success, along with some scary moments, but the skill level increased gradually and the interest really took hold.  I bought another lathe in 2006, it is a Hegner HDB200XL which has proved very successful and has enabled me to try other techniques, but as skill levels change and works become more challenging I am looking for a more powerful lathe, in order to turn larger naturalistic pieces.  It is all very exciting for me.