by Helen Martin
From 5 May until 26 May, wood turner Ray Scott will be exhibiting his work in the Media Room at the Helensville Art Centre under the title Artistry in Wood.
Born at Malolo House and brought up in Helensville Ray, a keen fisher and hunter, has had a love affair with wood since he began a ship building apprenticeship when he was 15. Over the years he has created many beautiful pieces, including grandfather clocks and a rocking horse for his granddaughter. He began wood turning just four years ago, after he’d retired and was “looking for something to do”, and found he had a natural talent for what is a difficult and exacting craft.
Ray’s a perfectionist and spends many hours working on a design to get it just right before he commits to translating it into a piece. He enjoys making intricate segmented pieces, the more difficult the better, in his machinery-filled workshop. The native woods he uses, sourced from friends, arborists and wood hunting expeditions, include puriri, pohutukawaand kauri. He also uses a lot of exotic woods, from the macrocarpa to the less common ‘purpleheart, sapele mahogany, wenge and maple, provided by friends and by importers who use only sustainably sourced timber. “Every piece of wood is unique and has a story to tell. It’s up to me to bring that story out for all to see,” he explains.
Already, rewards have come in the form of prestigious awards, won at both the Royal Easter Show and the Franklin Art Festival. “Participating in these shows brings out my competitive nature,” says Ray, “and the more I compete the more my technique improves.”
by Helen Martin