Michael Sinclair Woodturner

Orcadian Woodturner

Michael Sinclair Woodturner is a family run business in the heart of Neolithic Orkney.

A born and bred Orcadian, Michael, who has been practicing the craft of wood turning for nigh on three decades, is self-taught. Craftmanship however runs in the family with Michael’s grandfather being a carpenter/joiner. Michael has honed his skills using a combination of experimentation and his single-minded desire to produce fine attractive pieces.

In 2015 Michael decided to dedicate all his time to the wood turning business and opened a small gallery at his home. He also joined the Orkney Craft Association and developed an online presence.

Michael is a proud Orcadian and he draws much of his inspiration from where he lives, in the heart of Neolithic Orkney. Having self-built the house Michael and his wife, Sara, also created a pond and wildlife area and have planted, oak, beech, hazel, scots pine, chestnut and many more trees, however beautiful they are, I don’t think they will see them grow to usable sizes, but that’s not really the point.

This part of Orkney is a World Heritage Site. These sites include Maes Howe, Ring of Brodgar and The Ness of Brodgar. This influence can be seen in Michaels ‘Unstan ware’ inspired bowls. He also colours some bowls with Hematite and embellishes with sisal or hemp, another nod to archaeological finds.

All Michael Sinclair Woodturner pieces are bespoke. Michael turns the wood wet and allows the pieces to dry naturally. If the piece warps during the drying process Michael likes to incorporate this into the final form. He is also interested in antique machinery and hand tools. This influence can be seen on pieces where he uses various techniques which produces a finish to replicate the patina and wear and tear of everyday use.

The traditions and culture of the Islands are an important part of Michael’s life and his work reflects his affinity with Orkney and its heritage of craftsmanship. He takes pride in the fact he hand-makes each piece from start to finish.

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