I’m Chris Fisher RPT, also known as the Blind Woodturner, and the UK’s only completely blind professional woodturner, and inventor of the Speed Sizer.
I lost my sight in 2008 and took up woodturning five years later because I wanted a vampire stake! I turned my first commission in 2014, going on to become a full time self-employed woodturner in 2018.
In July 2019, I became the first blind woodturner to be accepted on to the Register of Professional Turners (RPT). I am a member of the AWGB. I was honoured to be invited to become the first Patron for UK Men’s Sheds Association in January 2020.
I am delighted to now be able to offer remote demonstrations, making it possible for woodturning clubs in the UK and around the world to join me for their own private woodturning demonstration.
what will the viewer be able to see?
We will be using a number of different camera angles to give you the best possible view of the project at all times.
There will be opportunities to talk directly to Chris throughout the demonstration and to ask questions.
what format will the demonstration take
We will propose a format similar to that in woodturning clubs (although we are happy to adapt this to suit you).
- Welcome and introduction by club Chairman.
- Part 1 of the demonstration.
- Tea break including an opportunity to chat with Chris.
- Part 2 of the demonstration.
- Close by club Chairman.
The demonstration duration will be approximately 3 hours.
how will the demonstration be accessed?
We will be using Zoom which is free for viewers to download.
The demonstration can be accessed by members in their own homes or from a club venue, if suitable internet access is available.
Zoom is an application that many people are accustomed to use. It is simple to access via a home computer.
what tech will be required
Members can access the demonstration using their own home PC or laptop, and internet connection. A download will be required the first time that a viewer uses Zoom. If they have used Zoom in the past, they will not need to download the software again.
If members wish to take part in the Q&A session, they will need a PC/laptop with a microphone and/or video camera. Many PCs/laptops already have a built in microphone and video camera. However, they can also type questions in to the chat window.
If all members are viewing the demonstration from the same location i.e. the club venue, the following kit would be recommended:
- projection screen
- suitable internet connection
what happens on the day?
We will liaise with a nominated club member who will act as the main contact for the purposes of the remote demonstration. Where the members are viewing from the same venue, the contact will oversee the equipment set up, liaise with us by phone, and collate questions for the Q&A session.
We will start the setup an hour before the demonstration is due to go live and test the connection.
Nicola will moderate the demonstration, read comments and control the camera angles.
what we will need from you
- A nominated club member and their contact details
- Number of participants (up to a maximum of 100, or an additional fee of £50 for up to 500 participants)
after the demonstration
The Zoom recording will be made available to you and your club members. We will also record the demonstration with a static video camera, and this recording will be sent to you.
The piece(s) turned as part of your demonstration will be posted to your club.
how much does a remote demonstration cost
For up to 100 participants, the fee is £200.
For up to 500 participants, the fee is £250.
how to make a booking
Please get in touch to:
- arrange a demonstration date and time
what happens after booking
We will confirm the booking and invoice for the demonstration. Payment is required 24 hours prior to the demonstration date.
We also recommend a test Zoom call is made with club members before the demonstration day. Zoom is available to use free of charge for up to 40 minutes.
We will send the demonstration link to you, 7 days before, so that you can circulate this to members.
Our club members have just enjoyed a fantastic remote Zoom demo with Chris and Nicola. They ensured the evening ran smoothly as we sat back at home and watched in awe. Chris is a truly inspirational turner and it was a privilege to be able to watch and learn from him in his own workshop and to be able to chat with him about his turning.
Ely Guild of Woodturners – 5th August 2020
The demo by Chris was fantastic and will spur me on. Please pass on my thanks (to both of them) and that it was a really wonderful demo and how his great personality came across. An inspiration to us all.
Very hard to believe that Chris is blind. He’s so confident and relaxed around the lathe.
A wonderful demo and life story from Chris last night
A really enjoyable and inspiring experience.
Chris Fisher was amazing and inspirational, I can’t believe how he manages to turn being blind.
An amazing demo from such an inspirational turner.
What an inspirational chap, just goes to show what you can do if you set your mind to it.
I wanted to write to say how wonderful the online demonstration was last night. It started with first class organisation from your end, with Nicola letting us know exactly what we needed to know well in advance so that we were well prepared. When we joined there was a super relaxed chat prior to the demo while our members joined the session and got themselves comfortable.
The demonstration itself easily illustrated the skills Chris has developed with woodturning and this was emphasised with a very natural presentation style which put everyone at ease, and both educated and amused the audience. The story of how all this came about, and speed with which it all happened was remarkable and very touching.
Chris’ sense of humour accented the evening wonderfully and added to the enjoyment.
What a wonderful, educational and inspirational evening, I strongly recommend it to anyone – they will not be disappointed!
Kennet Valley Woodturners – 8th September 2020
What an emotional and inspiring experience.