23 Feb 2021 – Martin Saban-Smith Online Demo

 In Online Demos


We have been treated to some excellent online demonstrations during last year and 2021 is continuing the theme with Colwin Way at our AGM and on Tuesday 23rd Feb with Martin Saban-Smith from Hampshire Sheen.  We were pleased to see a good turnout of 34 members for this online demo by a new demonstrator to our Club, of which without Zoom online meetings, we would not have the opportunity to see him.

Martin well known on social media showed that he is both an accomplished turner but also very used to working in a studio setting; ably assisted by Phil Boulter.

He began with some short videos on how to get the best from Zoom meetings and the importance of health and safety in your workshop. His plan for the evening was to combine two demonstrations, firstly to colour a piece of figured sycamore and then to turn a thin bowl. He answered several questions during the evening with the first being ‘did he colour everything’ to which he replied ‘yes mostly’. In his previous career, he was a photographer and uses his experience of ‘form first’ and ‘finish’ later when creating a piece.

Martin is very animated in his presentation and likes to talk through his thoughts and actions whilst presenting, so after the bottom of a 12 x 3-inch sycamore blank was turned and sanded, with great care, we all had a great description of the colouring process. Martin uses his own water-based stains which he has developed over recent years even explaining his thought process in the development of them and giving us graphics and examples of others bowls he has made. Applying dark colour and then sanding back to retain some of that before adding vibrant Ruby/black mixed on the cloth, burnt orange, flame, and finished with a honey colour. The accompanying screen grabs will illustrate better than my description.  If interested in purchasing the products, go to his website HERE.  You can also download the colour chart HERE

Two hours went by very quickly and after a short break, the blank was reversed to turn out the inside, this again explained using onscreen graphics, showing tool presentation, and turning techniques to prevent judder and twisting whilst keeping the bowl walls an even thickness.

More questions followed relating to finishing with oils, lacquers, sanding, and Martin told us he will go up to 20 thin coats of lacquer, sanding between to obtain the high finish he achieves. Another great evening for the Club, with a big thank you to Martin and his helper Phil for entertaining and educating us and hope to welcome them back to the Club in the future.

For those that might have missed the demo and entitled to watch it, you will have been sent a link via email from Alan Buckle, our Secretary to a recording made by Martin that is able to be watched for the next 7 days.

Report kindly produced by Zak.


And lastly,

Don’t miss the next Workshop Activity Night on the 9 Mar 2021, which can I remind you if you have been busy in the workshop and have items to show us, please send us some photos via the contact form ideally a few days before.  These will then be put into a presentation that will be shown via Zoom on the evening.

Also, we look forward seeing you all on the 16 Mar 2021 at our first Digital Night where we intend to show any videos that have been made by you the members and generally have a chat.  See you there.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Chris Fisher

    I wasn’t expecting another colouring demonstration.
    An informative demonstration with lots of tips in both colouring and tool presentation.

  • Paul Tunmore

    The club continues to excel with another great demonstrator in Martin. Martin’s delivery was very professional answering questions as he went from novices and experienced turners alike . He showed patience with my somewhat naive question as to whether he ever decided that having turned the outside of a bowl that the grain was too good to colour, I didnt know at the time that he is Hampshire Sheen!

    Martin didn’t bother about the time extending it to show us finishing techniques and would probably still be online if we had more questions.

    Another turner that we could not have had at the hall because of the distance involved.

    Well done Alan in providing us with a magnificent and varied program this year.

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