Robert Bishop RPT, Woodturner/Artist welcomes you to his woodturning website.

Kraftinwood has moved ~ see the News/Event page for details of our  new Art Gallery, Chair Making Museum and Artist Studios at Kraft  Village, High Wycombe HP12 3AJ

Yew tree Root ball

This Hollow form is turned from a Yew tree root ball. It measures H 42cm X Dia 29cm

Robert Specialises in woodturning Large bowls, Hollow forms and Vessels in Burr, Exotic and Native woods ~ especially Monkey Puzzle, all from sustainable forests/sources.

Roberts demonstrates and teaches woodturning for beginners through to experienced turners wishing to expand or hone their skills.

Visit Roberts Kraftinwood Gallery to browse and purchase from one, if not the biggest selection of wonderful woodturnings .   

Robert is a professional woodturner and is on the Register of Professional Turners supported by the Worshipful Company of Turners. He has been turning for over 16 years and carries out demonstrations at woodturning clubs   

He is also a member of  the Association of  Wood-turner’s of Great Britain,  The Middlesex Wood Turning Association, The American Association of Woodturner’s and on the Craft Council Register of Makers as well  as  many other organisations, clubs, forums and groups.

His work consists of a variety of shapes using different woods, his current series is very aptly entitled  ‘A Cut Above the Rest’. The many pieces are considered to be ‘outstanding’ and are exhibited in Art Galleries, Exhibitions, Craft Events and Shows and are widely sought to add to Private collections internationally and at home here in the UK.

Monkey Puzzle Bowl

The above hollow form measures H 17cm x Dia 24cm

To view or to buy buy a unique woodturning visit the New Gallery here on the page tags above. Be sure though to add the Kraftinwood site to your favourites and return as new items are being regularly added.Robert specialises in turning Monkey Puzzle  such as the  bowl here on the right, the exquisite shape highlights the whorls and black natural staining (spalt) making a wonderful combination that will appear on many wish lists and will, once seen ’ break hearts ‘ if not purchased !!.

This measures H 29cm x Dia 19cm.

Can you see the faces in this hollow form  made from a Laburnum root ball?

Some say they are Monsters …

others believe them to be Alien creatures … or foetus!

Whatever you see, this is truly a one off collector’s piece that can never be replicated.

This is where wood differs from pottery and ceramics etc, the figuring or grain  in wood is natural. Pottery or glass do not have this and so need to have colour and texture applied to enhance what otherwise could be a quite bland material.

Robert processes mostly all his own wood and has various size chain saws and a large 17″ band saw. His interest and requirement for unusual wood especially burrs quickly became known and it is quite common for him to find a cut up tree in the drive left on appro by  a tree surgeon or many e-mails enquiring whether he is  interested in a Monkey Puzzle, Walnut, fruit tree or the like that is being cut down soon. As trees take up a lot of room finding more space is always a problem however regular trips to cut up /collect unusual trees helps ensure a good supply of wood to store and dry.

The drying process is unfortunately slow and more often than not can take several years before the turning process begins. Wood cut into planks that is used in furniture making etc dries at approximately one inch – 25mm per year, up to say three inch – 75mm thick. Large pieces of wood in the round never dry at that rate due to the moisture that is retained within and will still provide all nearby with a  soaking when put on the lathe even after many years in storage!.

Unfortunately Burr Elm is now very rare due to the Elm disease that killed virtually all the large established trees by 1990. Stocks of Elm burr are unfortunately virtually exhausted although some patch burr still exists. Robert generally has the following native woods in his store -  Ash, Wych elm, Walnut, Eucalyptus, Beech, Monkey puzzle, Laburnum, Sycamore, Holly, Maple, Fruit wood and  Chestnut. In addition to the native woods Robert imports a selection of woods and burr from Australia Canada and America. Todays international delivery costs are high, even shipping a reasonable size but green burr now adds more than 100% to the cost of the wood. Despite this and in order to offer a diverse selection some quilted maples, redwood burrs from the US and  a few of the 700 or so Eucalyptus (gum trees) from Australia are bought. After a couple of years drying these burrs are turned and finished revealing some wonderful figuring, well worth the wait for an exceptional bowl though.

If you are considering comissioning a hollow form, bowl or vessel as a present, gift, award or prize then Robert will be pleased to offer advice, help you with choice or design and most importantly provide a competitive free quotation to make your requirement using either your own wood perhaps from a memorable tree or a selection from his wood stock.

Brown Oak bowls
Not all Kraftinwood products are gallery pieces there is a huge selection of treen items such as the above. These bowls are both practical and inexpensive and are finished with Danish oil which is food safe.

Turning large pieces requires not only a big lathe but also large cutting tools and hoisting equipment. The VB36 lathe is considered the ultimate lathe in wood turning and is excellent and more than capable of supporting the large trunks, roots or burr wood he hoists on with a 1 1/2 ton lifting crane. The wood is screwed at one end with large coach screws to a faceplate the variable speed enables the careful cutting necessary for deep hollowing using large cutting tools, the biggest cutter being in excess of 2 metres in length!!. This process is not for the faint hearted, one catch inside a large hollow form whilst it is spinning at a high speed and ……………’something has to give’ !!!.

Robert gives demonstrations in woodturning and also provides tuition for beginners where they learn how to be proficient in the safe use of tools and produce their first or own turning. More experienced turners can benefit from more advanced courses in deep hollowing etc. Courses are on a one to one basis and everything is provided including necessary insurance. Contact Robert for further details.

Below is a further selection of forms and vessels, the variety provides a refreshing change to the more run of the mill choice generally available elsewhere.