Featured Turner: Mike Waldt, In His Own Words
ABOUT MIKE WALDT
Full Name: Mike Waldt
Year of Birth: 1951
Nationality: British (Welsh)
Place of Birth: Cardiff, South Wales
Where do you currently live? Bedfordshire, England
What is, or was, your main job? I am a bus/coach driver, and have been for the past 16 years. Prior to that I came from a Sales and Marketing background.
What would be your dream job? Professional Woodturner/Instructor
Other than woodturning, do you have any other notable hobbies? In the past I used to enjoy building Gaming Computers, and playing golf. But now woodturning, coupled with my garden, take up most of my “free” time.
ABOUT YOUR TURNING
Are you a professional turner, hobby turner or something else? Definitely a Hobby turner.
When did you begin turning, and why? I got my first lathe in November 2011, after randomly watching a turning video by my now good friend Carl Jacobson. I think it’s fair to say that after the first time I turned on the lathe…I was hooked!
Are you a member of a turning club and if so which one? No, I am not, as my “free” time is very limited, but I would like to join my local club one day.
Who (or what!) has had the greatest influence on your turning? There are so many turners that inspire me, I couldn’t single out just one.
Who is your favourite woodturner? Again, I don’t have a single favourite turner, as there are so many great and talented people that share their work, for us all to be inspired by.
Do you have a favourite artist, in any medium, other than woodturning? Not really no…however in the art of Opera singing Luciano Pavarotti is my all time favourite “artist” 🙂
Do you have any formal training that helps your turning (e.g. Art, Design, Photography, Engineering etc)? No, I’m completely self-taught…and sometimes it shows!
Do you have any other similar or allied skills? If general DIY and working with wood counts then yes
What is the most unusual thing that you have turned? Most of the things I turn are unusual, as they rarely end up as I had anticipated initially.
What are your favourite pieces that you have turned? I have only a few absolute favourite pieces and they are
A Staved Goblet –
A Birds Eye Maple Bowl –
A Natural Edge Ash Vase –
An Oak Burr Natural Edge Bowl –
What is your favourite ‘sphere’ of turning (e.g. Bowls, Platters, Boxes, Pens, Hollow forms etc)? Apart from “segmenting”, I enjoy all areas of turning, but I have to say that goblets have a special place in my heart, for some reason.
Are there any other woodturners (or artists / crafters etc) in your family? No, I am the first in a very short line!
What has been your biggest disaster? There have been many, as each time things go wrong it seems like it’s the biggest “mess up”. I think the Coventry demo I recently did at UKIWS ranks pretty high on the disaster stakes, as far as turning goes anyway 😉
ABOUT YOUR WORKSHOP
Is your workshop a dedicated space or shared with other activities (i.e. a garage shared with a car, art studio etc)? I share my workshop with my wife’s car, and no amount of pleading will make her keep it outside!
How many lathes do you own? Just the one.
What is the make and model of your main lathe? The Axminster Trade AT1628VS
Have you had any previous lathes? The Axminster AWVSL1000
What is your ‘dream lathe’? I think it has to be the Robust American Beauty.
Other than your lathe, what is your favourite tool or machine? My Record Power BS400 Band Saw
Is your workshop very tidy, a ‘work in progress’ or a disaster zone? I do like to keep the workshop as clean and tidy as possible, but there are times it looks like a disaster zone, despite what the majority of my turning friends think!
Do you have a public YouTube channel that you would like to promote?
Yes I do here’s the link to it – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI_tt3HOlpZguB8ebtB4k1w
What is your favourite drink and snack food whilst in the workshop? Diet Coke and Walkers Plain Crisps….lol
Anything else you would like to say or be known about you and your turning life? I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends in the turning world, who have given me incredible support, and inspiration over the years, for that I am truly grateful.
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Coming up in future Featured Turner articles we have, amongst others, Stephen Ogle, Erik Anderson (The Naked Turner), Carl Jacobson and Cindy Drozda
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