Gordon Cookson

My passion for woodturning started at school when I was 14. My Dad organised a family whip-round for a joint Christmas and 16th birthday present and bought me a lathe, which is still useable.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain and the Middlesex Woodturners Association for over 25 years, the Cheam Woodturners Association for over 15 years and the Society of Ornamental Turners since 2011.

Their demonstrators and international ones at other seminars have inspired and taught me a vast amount, as well as Mark Sanger who helped me to put small decorative details on my work as my raffle prize from the AWGB 2013 Loughborough Seminar. I have written articles for their newsletters, the Woodworker and British Woodworking magazines.


Since 2003 I have run the Library for the Middlesex club, which I started in memory of my Dad. It is now thought to be 

one of the largest in the country.

I make decorative and functional pieces. I particularly enjoy the challenge of making one-off items either from builders' offcuts or unusually shaped wood, especially those with wild grain patterns. The wood is mainly from trees which either fall down through wind or disease and those which have to be taken down because they have grown too big for their surroundings.

In 2014 I started making dishes with straight and curved grooves on the top surface, which I hope to develop into different designs. Another future project is different shaped items using an MDF rose engine.

Like all turners I have given turned pieces to friends and organisations which have given me wood. These include the Friends of St. Mary's Church, Perivale out of the famous Ash tree which blew down in their grounds, for Members of Ealing Quaker Meeting House out of their old pitch pine benches, and St. Mary's, Walton out of the old oak belfry frame.

I show my work at exhibitions organised by the Middlesex Club, BEAT Borough of Ealing Art Trail in September, Harrow Open Studios in June, the Ealing Art Group, at local craft fairs, and by appointment at my home in Ealing as well as accepting commissions. Pictures of my work are on my various clubs' websites.

I was the subject of four films by trainee documentary directors for the BBC Academy, which I can use during talks to local groups. I was an observer at the North London Group's excellent AWGB Demonstrator Training Day. I give small public demonstrations at the Middlesex Club's exhibitions. I really enjoy getting the spectators involved in designing the piece, which they often take home after giving a donation to Harrow Gateway, the clubs charity.


My club demonstration of making a bracelet and pendant out of the middle of a bowl is described on their website - October 2013 Newsletter. Also a report of the Critique discussion of a wide variety of turned items which I led is in the Jun 2019 E-shot on the Cheamturners website and will

also be in the Autumn 2019 Bulletin of the Society of Ornamental Turners

Gordon Cookson July 2019
Tel: 020 8567 7548
email gordon.cookson1@btinternet.com