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Chemical engineer turned master woodturner:
A profile of Richard Shock

As one of the UK's premier stockists of woodturning equipment and materials from the leading manufacturers, here at The ToolPost, we know many customers who got into this wonderful art having spent their careers in another field entirely. This is certainly the case with our latest profiled local woodturner, valued customer and regular visitor to our Didcot shop, Richard Shock.

Richard was a chemical engineer by training and went on to work at the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment, finishing with international responsibilities in the Energy Technology Support Unit. Living and working in Summertown, North Oxford, Richard also has a DPhil from the University of Oxford and to an extent his scientific background, particularly his initial research in heat transfer and then industrial crystallisation, informs his current woodturning work.

Richard's signature inlay pieces certainly reflect an interest in pattern and structure, especially in relation to such areas as the Fibonacci Sequence and special angles. Although he has described most of his woodturning work as "functional", he also makes purely artistic pieces, with the aim of making high quality work that combines good technical turning techniques with attention to design, in order to enhance the figure and grain's inherent beauty. He has also cited ash as one of his favourite woods, on the basis of its suitability to his designs and the wide variety of colours in which it comes.

Over the course of about 15 years, Richard has developed from an enthusiast beginner turner into a skilled craftsman whose work is much in-demand and sold through several London and regional craft galleries, as well as directly by Richard at major craft events. Richard's wife, Kathy, is a painter - primarily in watercolours - and they jointly hold an exhibition of their work in their home during the Oxfordshire Artweeks event in May each year.

Finally, we can't possibly fail to mention that in order to create his remarkable woodturned masterpieces, Richard uses a Wivamac wood lathe that he purchased from our good selves here at The ToolPost! Indeed, with Richard being a familiar face at our Oxfordshire showroom, we are proud of the considerable success that he has achieved to date, including winning the Oxfordshire Artweeks Mary Moser Award in 2010.

It goes without saying, then, that we would certainly recommend that all woodturning enthusiasts visit Richard's website at to admire his latest creations and find out more about his wider career.


Editor's Note: The ToolPost ( is represented by the search engine advertising and digital marketing specialists Jumping Spider Media. Please direct all press queries to Louise Byrne. Email: or call: +44 (0)20 3070 1959 / +34 952 783 637.

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice