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Creative Woodturner of international renown
Ray has loved making things from wood throughout his life; his first recollections are from around the age of seven. Whittling, carving and fretwork were all interests.
He has been a member of the Worcestershire Guild of Designer Craftsmen since 1973.
He has been turning wood for over forty years. The first seven in industry, the next eight as a hobby and since 1973 as a full time living.
His passion for his subject and his willingness to share his knowledge has resulted in considerable opportunity to travel. His making, teaching and demonstration skills are known worldwide. Seminars and workshops have been undertaken in Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, USA and the UK.
He has two books in print with Batsford’s, The Woodturners Workbook* and Woodturning with Ray Key* also three videos on Box Making. He has been featured in quite a number of books on woodturning, Tony Boase in Woodturning Masterclass* says that “ Ray has probably done more than anyone to put turning on the map and gain the respect it deserves.”
He was the founding Chairman of The Woodturners Association of Great Britain in 1987. In 1997 he was accorded Life Member status and is now their President. He was made a Life Member of the American Association of Woodturners in 2001. In 2002 he became a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Turners by Presentation (A rare honour). These awards recognise his contribution and commitment to his chosen field.
Ray has two distinct areas of working, one where the emphasis is on functional use, salad bowls, cutting boards and platters.
In his book London Minimum*, Herbert Ympa described Ray’s bowls as having Wabi, meaning ‘voluntary poverty.’ For a bowl to have Wabi it must be pure - in form, material and execution. If an object is deemed to have Wabi it represents the ultimate compliment because it has transcended mere beauty and attained a spiritual quality.
Individual objects for the Gallery and Collector market are made to give mainly visual pleasure, although many can be and often are, used. His work is in many public collections, and in the USA most of the major individual collectors have examples of his work.
Ray feels there is a common theme running through his work, namely elegant simplicity. Purity of form, lift and life, tactile, aesthetic are his design bywords. Coupled with thoughts like, ‘Keep it simple stupid’, ‘let the wood speak for itself’ and ‘if in doubt leave it out’.
He loves wood for many reasons: warmth, beauty, colour, smell, unpredictability, and tactility to name a few. He feels it his duty to respond to these elements by making objects that hopefully complement and enhance the beauty of one of natures recurring treasures. Although purity and elegance still dominate his thinking and making, he is being drawn to making objects that are taller more sculptural and have some assemblage. His speciality is in boxes/containers, bowls, platters/dishes, and vessels.
Boxes/containers: Are made from fine, hard and dense unusual woods. Practical simple elegant forms that give visual and tactile pleasure is the aim
New work by Ray Key will be in the gallery and on the website shortly.
Bevere Gallery, Bevere Lane, Worcester WR3 7RQ • 01905 754 484 • email@example.com
Gallery open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm
Café open Monday - Saturday 9am - 4pm
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