I don't consider myself a turner, rather a woodcarver with a lathe. I do turn one or two items, mostly wooden quaichs. The quaich, or more accurately 'cuaich' - there are no 'q's in the Gaelic alphabet - is the traditional Scottish drinking vessel, associated both with welcome and farewell - the famous 'deoch an dorus'. It is a shallow cup of various sizes with two 'lugs' or handles. The idea of the two handles is so that it may be passed easily from hand to hand. Or perhaps it makes it more difficult to wrest out of the owner's grip…

Cuach 2 small


This one was commissioned for a wedding ceremony. It is turned from spalted beech with a celtic knot work band running all round below the lugs. They are carved in a version of the Edinburgh 'Luckenbooth' pattern, featuring entwined hearts. Because it is intended to hold whisky, I finished the inside of the bowl with melamine lacquer

Jan 2011 quaich small


Here is a simpler version of the quaich. A plain ash bowl with lugs carved again in the 'Luckenbooth' fashion. Finished internally with melamine lacquer, it is simply waxed on the outside. The wood from which it is made was grown locally. Very locally: in fact no more than 20 feet from the lathe it was turned on.