John Craig

 

Background

I started working life as an apprentice trained engineer making gantry cranes for power stations and military installations.  After being made redundant five times in two years under Margaret Thatcher’s brutalist government I decided a change of direction was required. I chose to go to college and study for a degree in art and design, graduating from Manchester School of Art, where I major in wood and metal.  I then completed post-graduate teaching training and subsequently taught jewellery-making and silversmithing at several art colleges in the north of England for the next eight years. Later I moved into student support helping disabled students to fully access all areas of the curriculum.

 

After retiring I decided it was time for a new hobby; rock climbing and hill walking losing their appeal as aches and pains took over. I suppose woodturning was inevitable given my background and I have found it to be both challenging and extremely enjoyable.

 

I have found that unlike metal, which in the main does what you tell it to, wood is somewhat mysterious and contrary by nature; as hidden stresses and knots are only revealed as it is worked. The more complex the grain, the greater the character in the finished piece, but this may involve huge technical challenges with unpredictable outcomes including, at times, a significant risk of disaster.  It is very satisfying, therefore, when a design is successfully completed.