We do hope you won't accuse us of too much bias if in today's news piece, we shine a light on another woodturner who is not only local to
our Oxfordshire base here at The ToolPost, but also a former employee of ours! Furthermore, he continues his association with us through the woodturning courses that he runs here. That person is, of course, Steve Giles,
who has produced some of the most inspirational woodturning work that we have seen in recent years.
Steve spent many years working in the plumbing and heating trade before discovering woodturning about 20 years ago, finally taking
the plunge into full-time woodturning in 2008. Since then, he has steadily developed his artisan skills in the production of some seriously impressive woodwares. Steve works with locally sourced timber from sustainable
sources wherever possible, producing such functional pieces as bowls, platters, plates (treen), boxes and vessels, in addition to various more artistic, intricately decorated pieces.
Working from his own studio in
the West Berkshire village of Chieveley, close to Newbury and junction 13 of the M4, Steve continues to focus principally on production turning of all types, from runs of 'rustic' bowls to one-off (or even two-off!)
columns for porticos or porches. Steve remains in demand for all manner of commissioned pieces, encompassing the likes of spindles for builders and finials for antique repairers, although many of his pieces are also
independent, sculptural works of art that can be hung on a wall or displayed on a table.
There is, however, another key element of Steve's life as a woodturner: his highly respected teaching work. Having worked at
The ToolPost for several years along with his graphic artist partner Sheila, Steve is now our resident turning tutor, teaching both at our Didcot premises and his own studio as student demands require. He also sells his
work directly from his studio as well as through local galleries and is a member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain (AWGB), in addition to being accepted onto the Register of Professional Turners in
Certainly, as many of his past students here at The ToolPost are able to attest, Steve is a masterful woodturning tutor, very much teaching on the basis of the student's own knowledge, therefore providing
invaluable help to those who have never previously touched a woodturning lathe or chisel, as well as to more seasoned woodturners simply looking to brush up on more specialised skills. But the evidence of such expertise
is also clear to see in his own incredible woodturning work, as can be appreciated in the gallery on his own website at www.stevegileswoodturning.co.uk