Shop (coming soon)
The business Campbell Fowler was set up in 1997 by myself Chris Folwer to manufacture quality bespoke hand crafted furniture, via commission from members of the public and local companies. The furniture being made from solid timbers.
Being a self-taught wood turner, starting at the age of 15 when I brought an old cast iron Hobby's treadle flat belt drive wood lathe, a bit like a pole lathe but slightly more modern, brought for 30 shillings (that's £1.50 for those of you not old enough to remember real money). I’m also a self-taught wood carver from the age of 20, my first carving being of a John Fowler & Co traction engine smoke box door.
In 1997 I was approached by a number of local joinery companies for the possibility of me doing wood turning and carving for their customer’s needs, some of this work over the past 19 years has included reproductions of turned and carved items for the National Trust buildings, as well as listed buildings to the specification & approval of English Heritage.
Whether I am turning one spindle for a stair case,a small number of items or a large batch of 100 plus they're all enjoyable to do. I do not possess a copying attachment or a copy lathe, everything I turn is done free hand. Other aspects of turning I really enjoy are serving bowls, dishes, plates, platters, kitchen & tableware including the segmented range of salt and pepper mills /shakers. As well as Scandinavian two handled tankards, Viking beakers, mugs, deep, plates & bowls for Viking re-enactments. As well as segmented old English style wooden buckets, walking stick stands & a selections of treasure chests with segment arched lid in various sizes, plus special pieces like hand cut Barley twists, Involute turning. Plus, the more unusual art of Therming, for those unaware this is turning a square patterned spindle on a rotating wood lathe.
Then of course there are the "I bet you can’t pieces" i.e. the chip board plate titled "Anyone for chips" then there's the pile of various bits of wood veneer all glued together in a pack about 2" (50mm) thick & about 6" (152mm) in diameter turned into a small dish. Good here Init.
Wood turning to me is not just a job or part of a profession, ITS A PASSION.
Over the past year I’ve also been very happy to be able to offer customers a French Polishing service, using modern modified French polish, suitable for new antique furniture & turnery.
At the moment (June 2016) in any spare time I get. I am building a new treadle lather with about a 9 inch (230mm) center height & about 4 feet (1220mm) between centers. Using and old Union Jubilee grinder casting. Union graduate headstock spindle, Colchester bow top engineers center lathe tail stock (modified of course) & a few bits of 6" x3" rolled steel channel, hollow box plus bits of plate. Being an engineer through the first 20 years of my working life has helped me to be able to do such things as this, I enjoyed my time in the engineering trade and learn't a terrific amount.
I can still read a blue print or engineers drawing, a tape measure, imperial micrometers & verniers, but now I get more enjoyment as every day brings something different.
“Wood turning to me is not just a job.”
“ or part of a profession, .”
“ITS A PASSION..”
Take a look below at some of my past works
1st and 2nd fix and bench joinery
Furniture manufacture - bespoke
hardwood or softwood. From country kitchen to lounge, dining room or study or office from Pine to reproduction regency in sapele or Oak
Spindle work turned between centers for stair spindles, newel posts, table legs act.
Chuck work for vases, plates & platers, bowls& dishes, goblets, beakers & tankards.
Segmented turning which has to be done using formers to enable the work piece to be held between centers, in my case when turning such things as pepper mils/ stick stands ,buckets or treasure chest lids in varying diameters from 3 inches to 14 inches (76mm to 355mm)
of course there’s the specials-
like involute turning which is turning the inside outside before the outsides outside (got that din ye)
as well as Therming which is turning square spindles in to square patterned spindles turned on a standard wood lathe.
And of course there’s the barley twists in a single start to twin start in solid or hollow, left hand or right hand & rope twist. single start or twin start left or right hand, but none of em are actually being turned as the lathe is not switched on, it is used for rotary support whilst being carved by hand
Free hand carved panels normally for new furniture or building restoration.
Lancelot power carving - a cross between a mini grinder and a chainsaw (a wonderful bit of kit)
Chainsaw - Ooh yeah but be warned always respect your tools or they will bite back
Intarsia - building pictures from various species and colors of timber to decorate furniture boxes floors or wall paneling.
This website has been setup to let people know who I am where I am and what I do.
This form is available for anyone wishing to use it, but don’t expect an instant reply as someone will pick up the message asap, but it won’t be me, I am no computer geek and I don’t do memails and teh tinternet, it bores me to tears. I prefer pen and paper, the envelope, the stamp. The post person, the magazine, the book- oh sorry in getting carried away here with nostalgia oh those where the days.
you are very welcome to talk over your requirements with me using my land line telephone daytime when you can catch me or most evenings of the week or if you wish you can leave a message on my answer phone during the day with you name and contact details, it’s a very friendly with a posh voice and it doesn’t bite honestly. I will get back to you asap. Otherwise you are very welcome to contact me on my mobile phone either in person or via text at any time, though I have a strict policy of not answering the mobile phone whilst using machinery or driving. I can work from a drawing or a sketch, even a sketch on the back of a fag packet if it’s got measurements on it, or supply me with the remains of the original with any details available and if it’s doable I’ll do it.