Meet wood turning artist Stephen Kavanagh. Let’s learn more about our friend Stephen and his woodturning journey.
Woodturner Stephen Kavanagh
Tell us about yourself:
Im an artist and woodturner from Kirkcaldy in Scotland. Living and working in the capital city edinburgh. Making what I can from found and reclaimed timbers. I’ve Ben very fortunate to have access to an old 18th century stone barn to do my turning from!
What is your background and how/why did you get into woodturning?
I came to turning quite late, only beginning it a couple of years ago but it’s proven to be a therapititic release for me and I love how challenging and diverse the art of turning can be.
What drives your passion and who are your biggest influences?
Instagram has proven a great inspiration. There is a fantastic community of woodworkers and woodturners who are always happy to help with questions and provide advice from first hand experience.
Favorite species of wood, or favorite tools you like to work with?
All my timber is reclaimed, offcuts or found materials. I love the fact you can create something useful and beautiful from discarded materials, giving timber new life. I have a very basic set of tools, not very expensive, just enough to do what I can do. I hope to invest in a better lathe and tools eventually. Although I do love my Axminster lathe.
How did you develop your woodturning career?
Trial and error! Watching videos and asking questions. However nothing beats the hands on learning, if you want to know how to do something, research and give it a try, you’ll gain more knowledge from making mistakes than accidentally getting it right.
Is there one wood turned piece you are particularly proud of?
Every piece provides different challenges but I guess I would like to share this large oak box with a cocobolo rosewood tip on top. I took a real experimental approach to this piece and let the shape develop during the process. A little bit of trial and error was done while shaping the tip but I eventually found a form I liked.
How do you seek out or find professional opportunities?
Online, it’s very hard. I hope to find a larger turning community in Edinburgh and I’ve met a few so far but not many.
How have you built your brand and cultivated a loyal customer base?
Still in the early stages but the feedback I’ve received has been extremely positive.
What would you say to new woodturners?
Trial and error! You’ll lesen more from your mistakes than accidental successes.
Follow Stephen on Instagram: @skavanaghart
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