Copyright © 2019 Burnham-on-sea Woodturning Club

Burnham-on-sea          Woodturning Club

Meeting Reviews

November 2019 - Colwin Way

October 2019 - Liz Kent

September 2019 - John Blake

August 2019 - Sandra Adams

July 2019 - Chris Foweraker

June 2019 - Paul Sweet

May 2019 - George Foweraker

April 2019 - Bryan Milham

March 2019 - Mark Sanger

February 2019 - George Foweraker

January 2019 - Paul Sweet

November 2018 - Jason Breach

October 2018 - Colwin Way

September 2018 - John Blake

August 2018 - Paul Sweet

July 2018 - Mark Sanger

June 2018 - John Lancaster

April 2018 - Liz Kent

March 2018 - Paul Hannaby

January 2018 - George Foweraker

November 2017 - Jason Breach

October 2017 - Tony George

September 2017 - Bryan Milham

September 2017 - AWGB

August 2017 - Mark Hancock

June 2017 - John Aitken

April 2017 - Chris Foweraker

March 2017 - Mark Sanger

February 2017 - George Foweraker

January 2017 - Paul Sweet

November 2016 - Jason Breach

October 2016 - Bryan Milham

September 2016 - Mark Sanger

August 2016 - Keith Fenton

July 2016 - George Foweraker

June 2016 - Chris Foweraker

June 2016 - Stuart Mortimer

April 2016 - Pete Moncrieff-Jury

March 2016 - Mark Sanger

February 2016 - Ray Blake

January 2016 - George Foweraker

December 2015 - Nick Agar

November 2015 - Paul Hannaby

October 2015 - George Foweraker

September 2015 - Mark Sanger

August 2015 - Jason Breach

July 2015 - Chris Foweraker

June 2015 - Nick Agar

October 2017 - Tony George

Apologies for the brief report this month as I was unable to attend the meeting.

Our club secretary said “The demo was very interesting, Tony and Di used a combination of paints and colours to texture and colour turned items, all very complicated. Apart from the spirit based colours this was easy for me to follow so I think I'll probably have a go at that.”

The details of the techniques used are shown below …


1 Mix Carrageenan

It takes about 2 to 3 tablespoons of powder per gallon depending on make and batch.  Get 4 Litres of water and slowly sprinkle powder in whilst stirring.  If you drop lumps in they are very hard to disperse.  After 2 tablespoons check the viscosity, this can be done by dropping a pebble/marble in a glass tumbler full, it needs to take 2 to 3 seconds to sink to the bottom.  If not thick enough add more powder, when it’s over 2 seconds leave it till the next day to thicken, if it’s too thick next day add water carefully when over 1 ½ seconds that will do. The mix can be used as many times but remembering it is organic so bacteria will build up after 3 to 4 days.

2 Alum (aluminium sulphate)

Take ½ teaspoon full of alum powder and mix in ½ a cup of water. This is then painted on the wood and left to dry.  The more porous the wood the better it works.  For the base colour spirit stains can be used but they need to be diluted with thinners or they will clog up the pores of the wood stopping the alum absorbing later.


Most acrylic paints can be used including iridescent but require diluting down to about single cream viscosity.  Either use water or flow medium


Lay paints on carrageenan with small spoon or syringe close to the surface. After placing all colours on slowly drag a tooth pick, paint brush handle, etc. through the colours to give required effect, try not to go too deep in the carrageenan as if folded in it will nullify the paints.

As you push the wood in a flat surface will give a mirror paint effect on the wood but a h/f will drag down the side giving a different effect.  After dipping run the wood under a steady stream of water until all carrageenan is removed leaving just paint pattern and leave to dry.

The paint in the bucket can be stirred in the mix and will not compromise any future dips.

Finishing Gloss

When the wood is dry, - do not sand until you have put at least one coat of sanding sealer on (cellulose).  Lightly sand then do another coat of sanding sealer, sand then spray with gloss finish.

Finishing Oil

If using an oil finish this can be applied straight on the paint but do not over work it or you could smudge the paints underneath.


Inks can also be used on carrageenan mix but can be problematic sinking into mix and can contaminate the mix with inks. 


Using a bucket of tap water left for 2 days to disperse chlorine contamination or better still rain water.  Using pipettes drip Yellow first onto water surface gently until a thin film covers the surface then add other colours, take note that different colours all react differently on top of each other when all colours are added they cannot be moved about with a stick but you can gently blow them with a straw for effect.  Again using a porous wood NO PRIMER OR ALUM can be dipped straight in.  Remove and leave to dry ready for finishing.

With spirit stains you will need to use water based finish not cellulose.  Oil finish can be used but care has to be taken not to overwork the oil or you will disturb colours.

Thanks to Tony and Di for what sounds like a very interesting meeting covering a topic which we don’t often see at the club. Examples of their work can be viewed on their website

David Langan