Maggie Wright, Yeoman of the Turners’ Company
Maggie’s passion for woodturning was borne, initially, from her family background, where she was surrounded by a large and highly talented family of craftsmen working from master builders and cabinet makers to intricate and skilled dressmaking. Every one of her family worked with their hands and she learned to do most anything around the house, from electrics to plumbing and bricklaying and roofing to upholstery.
Her first encounter with woodturning was while teaching when she received a present from a parent, and woodturner, of a cherry wood bowl on a spiral stem. He offered to show her how it was made. She quickly made progress with her beads and coves on a small second-hand lathe with five tools.
In 2001, she bought the biggest lathe she could find, a Oneway 2436, and built a fully equipped workshop. She made everything from bowls and trophies to fourposter beds, tables, and finials for clocks even one for a church. She was inspired by Bert Marsh and Ray Key, who she got to know quite well, and Stuart Mortimer, as they demonstrated regularly at woodworking shows such as Axminster and Crystal Palace. She says there is still a lot of Bert Marsh in her work.
She is a long-standing member of the AWGB and has been Chairman of her local club Wealden Woodturners (WWT) since 2001. The club has a whole range of turners from highly accomplished, talented and innovative turners to the youngest beginners, the work they produce is amazing.
Maggie is a member of the Council of the Society of Ornamental Turners and runs their competitions, including online started during Covid which includes members all over the world. In 2015 she was awarded a bursary by the Worshipful Company to learn Ornamental Turning and restore an Ornamental lathe built in the 1860’s.
With her distinctive style and innovative processes, she has won numerous awards including first prizes in the Worshipful Company’s Master’s Competition for Plain turning, the Master’s Competition for Ornamental turning, the Felix Levy Open and many other prizes. One of her pieces was presented to the Lord Mayor of London by The Worshipful Company as a Christmas present.
As stated in the feature on her in Woodturning Magazine issue 328 she is continuously pushing the boundaries. Her work is often used to advertise woodworking events and has been sold internationally, and she is often asked to demonstrate at national and international events.
She loves a challenge and promotes in her words “the joy of woodturning” encouraging new talent and inspiring and motivating others to innovate and enjoy the craft.
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