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Artists CV    artwork
John Downham

I am the only segmented woodturner in the world who relies on handplanes to construct turnings. Every other artist makes extensive usage of machinery for dimensioning timber and creating joints. Other than using a bandsaw for ripping and rough cutting, I achieve every other process with handplanes and hand-eye co-ordination .

Educated as a civil engineer and from a long family history of master craftsmen, I look to embody both of these disiplines in my work. Tolerances in segmented turning are minute, joints have to be perfect, patterns identical, sizing critical,lathe tooling perfect and finishing sublime.

My unique approach makes what is already a very labour intensive process into a severe test of patience and personal capabilities. The artworks you see here have anywhere between 100 and 300 hours invested in each one. Any lapse of concentration, error or miscalculation in any stage of this process is catastrophic.

The main driving force for me as an artist is to see what I am a human being am capable of. By stripping away mechanical aids I can see what my true capabilities are. There is a major difference between working to fractions of a millimetre by hand and jabbing a piece of timber at a machine that does it for you.

Everything you need is already inside you, learn to use it.