How did you go blind?
I lost my sight in 2008 over a period of 4 weeks as a result of Toxoplasmosis. It’s believed that I contracted the virus as a child and it lay dormant until I was 39.
How much sight do you have?
I am completely blind and have no sight at all.
Why did you take up woodturning?
I wanted to make a vampire stake as I’m a big horror film fan. I didn’t want to whittle one though so I decided to investigate woodturning!
Were you a woodturner before you went blind?
No, I had never turned anything before I lost my sight.
How did you learn how to woodturn?
I spent months listening to woodturning videos on YouTube. I treated it like going to school and listened for hours every day until I had pictures in my mind of how to turn. Once I felt confident that I had enough information, I bought my first lathe and turned a vampire stake.
What is your favourite species of wood?
This is a tricky one! I really like turning Ash and have used it many times to great effect. Generally, I get a kick out of all the different wood types for different reasons. Sometimes it can be a beautiful fragrance from the wood or the feedback it gives me through the tools.
Why do you wear eye and face protection?
Although I’m blind, I still wouldn’t want a splinter of wood to go in my eye as it could be painful. If a piece of wood ever flew off the lathe my face shield would protect me from injury.