14 Jul 2015

Meet the Maker – Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy – Woodturning

budvaseI work with wood primaraily. I turn it on a lathe and carve it with a tools called gouges. But to this I add resin, electronics and paint/dye to varying degrees as my design calls for them. Or sometimes none of them.

Wood is a phenomenal material to work with. Its light, durable, colourful, cheap and plentiful. It literally grows on trees after all! Woodworking dates back to as long as we have records but the modern era has brought leaps of technology in the way of electric lathes, improved materials for tools, modern synthetic materials like resin and a global community sharing tips and techniques such that the old craft of turning wood is changing into something nearly unrecognisable at an astonishing rate.

I’m a journeyman turner, still very much learning the ropes. My interest is in the cross over points between this ancient craft and the new opportunities for design that modern inventions make possible, perhaps for the first time.

Things sometimes go wrong. Sometimes they go wrong at very high speeds. But what fires me is trying something new in search of a visual effect that is perhaps as much luck as design

I use computer controlled lasers to carve stencils and burn patterns into wood turning, modern resin and high tech powders to give depth and colour but at the centre of it all is a piece of simple wood, a motor to turn it and sharp tool to cut it. With those you can make almost anything … which leads to the most difficult question of all.

What is it you want to make?

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1 Comment
  1. Dublin Maker 2015 | News Four July 21, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

    […] The Future of Food, where Urban Farm and Belvedere College show how to grow food without soil; and Tom Murphy, who will be bringing his lathe to demonstrate the art of […]

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