About me

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I'm a wood turner and pen maker. From my woodshop I create a range of handcrafted sustainable wooden products with form and function at the forefront. Each piece is hand–turned on the lathe from locally sourced wood before sanding and smoothing by hand. It is then finished with my  food safe oil and beeswax paste, making each piece truly unique.

Living in the scenic Ballintleave Commons, Glenbeigh on “The Ring Of Kerry” with my better half Nora Mai, and a large family of fur-kids, 8 dogs and 2 cats. Together we raise cattle, sheep, ducks, hens, guinea fowl and Rosie the donkey.

Ethically Sourced & Sustainable

All of the wood I use is sourced locally from storm felled trees or from local tree surgeons who have removed dangerous trees or limbs due to storm damage or in the interests of public safety. I also use reclaimed wood from discarded or broken furniture and pallets, waste off-cuts from local businesses and driftwood and plastics we collect from the many local beaches in the area. I use every bit of the tree so nothing goes to waste. I cut the tree or limbs into large slabs of wood to make bowls and any off cuts go to make bud vases, pens, salad servers or any of the smaller items I make. Even the wood shavings get used, first under the hens and ducks for litter before being mixed with the farmyard manure for spreading on the land or to make compost for the vegetable and flower garden.

My Approach

Most of my bowls are turned on the lathe when the wood is still wet or unseasoned. They then go into a drying kiln for a number of weeks where they will dry very slowly or bagged in their own shavings which dry them even slower still to prevent cracking. When dry the bowls are mounted back onto the lathe for final turning and sanding. I use my food safe oil and beeswax paste to finish the bowls making them ideal for salads, fruits or for everyday use. This food safe oil and beeswax mixture moisturizes, conditions and protects the wood and can be reapplied occasionally to keep the wood feeling and looking its best.

How it all Began

Humble Beginnings

The Original Workshop

My first lathe, a used Record Power DML24. I still use it today for smaller items.

My love of woodwork started at an early age. I have always enjoyed working with my hands and being creative so I left school at 16 and started my apprenticeship with my Uncle Mike at his joinery shop.

I spent many years there making windows, doors and cabinetry. But my favorite had to be building staircases, we made hundreds of them and it never got old or boring. But eventually I left and took a job in a factory. I know, a silly mistake (or two in my case) was made. A mindless multinational is no place for a creative person.

In early 2011 I converted one of our unused outbuildings into a little 8 foot by 13 foot woodshop and The Old Raven Woodshop was born. I started repairing pieces of furniture, building hen coops and whatever else was needed about the farm.

One day I found one of our puppies, Brandy, happily chewing the handle off my Grandfathers old cabinet screwdriver and decided to make a new one on the drill-press. I posted the result on my Facebook page where a friend saw it, he said he had an old lathe and some tools sitting in his shed if I was interested. I purchased and was instantly hooked.

Today at The Old Raven Woodshop I take great pride in producing one of a kind bespoke wood-turnings of heirloom quality. I take my inspiration from nature and the world around me or quite often from the piece of wood itself.

All my pieces are one off, hand turned and carefully handcrafted with traditional tools and finishes in my little workshop.