Mike is a hobby wood turner with over forty years experience. He first took up turning as a teenager to meet his mother Sheila’s demand for lace bobbins. These initial bobbins were produced using a lathe attachment for a Black & Decker drill!
A single advert in the Lace Guild magazine produced a huge flood of orders which resulted in him sending bobbins all over the globe. During the time he has been turning, Mike estimates that he has made between twenty and twenty-five thousand lace bobbins and he knows he has sent them to every continent except Asia. The initial rush of bobbin orders provided sufficient funds for Mike to purchase his first ‘real’ lathe which he has since up graded to his current ex schools lathe – a Harrison Jubilee.
A chance encounter resulted in Mike meeting another wood turner who was looking to provided lessons. They soon became friends and held joint exhibitions, attended numerous craft fairs and gave turning demonstrations throughout Yorkshire & became founder members of the West Riding Woodturners’ Association.
As paid employment and a growing family took up more of Mike’s time his turning took something of a back seat. In recent years he has relished the opportunity to have more time for his hobby now based in a workshop, in Huddersfield, W. Yorkshire, instead of at the end of an unheated garage. In recent years he has had items for sale in several galleries in Northumberland and North Yorkshire with much of the proceeds being donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Mike now enjoys larger, more creative one off projects and particularly likes working with burrs from British timbers. He takes pleasure in working with a natural material, revealing the beauty within the wood and letting its shape and form suggest the design of the finished piece. All the timber used by Mike is either reclaimed or sourced locally and each of his pieces are individually hand turned and then hand finished using natural waxes or oils.
Mike’s work can be purchased or seen via his website at www.mikebentley.co.uk