Fungi – Tref Roberts

Club Meeting 1 March 2023
Report by: Holm Miehlbradt

Tref visited us from the North Shore and took us through the making of his mushrooms (see his Art of Wood entry from last year).

He started by turning a mushroom, “Porcini” style. He followed the basic steps as for any spindle turning: rough turning to make the blank round, completing the part furthest from the headstock first and finishing each section as he moved towards the headstock. His mushroom head had a slight undercut to make it look more realistic by adding some shadow and a wider base as a stand.

Before parting off the finished piece he shifted it slightly in the chuck to make it lean a bit.

The arranging of a group of mushrooms needs to consider their size, height and leaning angle to create a condensed group without the individual mushrooms touching each other.

Tref mentioned that he often leaves the mushroom in the chuck for embellishments and only then parts it off.

A variety of embellishment/carving/painting/staining options can be chosen or combined on each single mushroom. No two mushrooms are the same!

Tref explained his process for using pyrography. He likes to use low heat to avoid overburn and to produce crisp lines. He showed us the various tips he is using and how to make some of them. He indicated that he is usually using a fan to suck the smoke away rather than directing the air onto the piece as the air flow towards the tip tends to cool it too much.

He went on to fill in the pyrographed patterns with a dye paying attention to not go over the burnt lines.

He also used a micro-carver to create some texture and to make round holes which he filled with some milliput (epoxy putty).

Thanks Tref for this very interesting demo with a lot of creative possibilities.