The Worshipful Company of Turners

Supporting the Craft, City and Charity for over four hundred years

Ray Key BEM

My work embraces minimalism; my quest is to produce objects of beauty and elegant simplicity. I am a great believer of the object as a whole; not a disjointed assemblage of different ones. ‘Keep it simple stupid’ ‘let the wood speak for itself’ and ‘if in doubt leave it out’ are my design bywords’. In 2012 The Worshipful Company of Turners presented Ray their first ever ‘Master in Turning’ award and in 2015 Ray was awarded the BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to the craft of Wood Turning.

Ray says about his life as a woodturner “from an early age I knew wood was my medium. In 1958 I became an apprentice Pattern Maker; woodturning was part of the job. Completion of my training saw me work with fibre glass and clay, wood remained my first love and turning in particular. In 1965 my first lathe was purchased. In 1973 I turned my back on industry to become a full time turner. What has followed these past 43 years could not have been foreseen or imagined.”

“The world wide growth of turning organisations, seminars, workshops, hobby turning, equipment development etc. is unbelievable. Perhaps the most significant and important development of the ancient craft is that it is now accepted as an ‘art form’.”

“Since 1980 it has been my good fortune to have been present at many events where embryonic seeds have been sown that have impacted world turning. Parnham House hosted the first truly International Seminar in 1980, this event was truly seminal.

From this time my commitment and involvement with national and international woodturning causes has been all embracing. In retrospect it may have had a negative effect on my growth as a turner (little time to develop ideas). That said my understanding and knowledge of woodturning world wide continues, as does my development as a person. For every negative there is always a positive.

Ray has recently become a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Turners.

Ray’s work can currently be seen at:

Enriched 25 August to 4 October 2017

at the Gallery at the Guild, The Old Silk Mill, Sheep Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6DS

Worcestershire Guild of Contemporary Crafts 22 August to 17 September 2017

at the Gordon Russell Design Museum, 15 Russell Square, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7AP

20 artists from the Worcestershire Guild of Contemporary Crafts are exhibiting their work in a selling exhibition at the Gordon Russell Design Museum. Over 100 pieces are on display in a wide range of media, including basketry, bookbinding, cabinet making, ceramics, glass, jewellery, lighting, leather work, textiles, wood carving and wood turning.

See these beautifully crafted pieces alongside the museum collections, and find something special to take home.


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