Participants in the upcoming Beyond The Valley Studio Tour will have the unique opportunity to watch as wood is turned into elegant items like goblets, bowls and pepper mills.
Woodturner Hugh Widdup’s shop on Wellington Street in Dundas will for the first time join the tour, scheduled for May 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last year Widdup was the guest artisan at Pavlo Pottery in Rockton.
“I liked meeting people and explaining and exposing them to woodturning,” Widdup said of his experience. “A lot of people know what a woodturned bowl looks like, but they have no idea what part of the tree it comes from.”
Widdup started woodturning in 2003. He wanted to make a Windsor chair but didn’t know how to turn the spindles. A visit to a meeting of the Golden Horseshoe Woodturners Guild solved the spindle riddle, but the dining chair was quickly forgotten as Widdup was introduced to more appealing projects.
With an eye for detail and sense of timeless design, Widdup has since carefully crafted one-of-kind, sometimes custom-ordered, scoops, ornaments, bowls of all sizes, goblets and salt and pepper mills.
Widdup worked in the manufacturing sector until retiring in January to pursue his woodturning hobby full-time. He now spends most weekdays in the shop he built in his backyard in 2009.
“I like being able to take a block of wood and to make a bowl, just to see it change and develop and take a shape and become something functional,”he said.
Ninety-five per cent of the wood Widdup uses in his work — primarily cherry, walnut and maple — is locally sourced, and has already been cut down.