Paul Coker has been a professional turner since 1986, specialising in ornamental and rose engine work but also a very capable plain turner. Much of his work is physically quite small but can be very elaborate and intricate – sometimes taking months to complete, for example the chess sets he is noted for. Working mostly to private commission in the U.K and Europe, his work is not to be found in galleries. Paul joined the Register of Professional Turners in 1987, and has been commissioned by the Turners Company to make 70th and 80th birthdays gifts for Queen Elizabeth II. He is the winner of multiple awards, and has given many talks over the years to wood turning groups specializing in history and techniques of ornamental turning.
Scope of work
Styles : Rose engine work, mainly in the 16th / 17th century style. Whilst ornamental pieces tend towards the elaborate Victorian Gothic Revival style, but can work in any style required (this is especially important in restoration work).
Type : Range of work is from gaming pieces ( dice, backgammon etc) through chess sets, boxes, urns, large architectural pieces to elaborate magical apparatus. Working in almost any material from alabaster to zebrano by way of bone, box, brass, etc.
Restoration : Undertakes restoration for private clients and the antiques trade of almost any treen from 16th century rose engine boxes and challises to furniture parts up to 1930’s deco clock cases.
Career in brief with some important dates
1978 First started to turn wood.
1981 First pieces of work sold.
1984 Joined the Society of Ornamental Turners.
1986 Became a professional turner.
1987 Joined the Register of Professional Turners (RPT).
1995 Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Turners.
1996 Freeman of the City of London.
1996 Commissioned by the Turners’ Company to make a 70th birthday gift for Queen Elizabeth II.
1998-2001 Editor of the Bulletin of the Society of Ornamental Turners.
2004 Commissioned to make 220 boxes for the 400th anniversary of the Turners’ Company.
2006 Commissioned by the Turners’ Company to make an 80th birthday gift for Queen Elizabeth II.
2012 Commissioned by the retiring Clerk of the Turners’ Company to make a new Beadle’s staff.
2015 Became a Liveryman of the Turners’ Company.
prizes & awards
Winner of multiple awards from 1987 onwards, including:
Worshipful Company of Turners Lady Gertrude Crawford gold medal &
Twentyman Medal( silver medal) (1993)
1st prize Worshipful Company of Turners ornamental competitions (1987, 1990, 2002, 2004, 2008)
1st prize Worshipful Company of Turners plain turning competition (2008)
2nd prize Worshipful Company of Turners ornamental turning competition (2010 ,2012)
3rd prize Worshipful Company of Turners ornamental competitions (1993, 1995, 2000)
Society of Ornamental Turners Tweddle Medal (1991)
Seminars & demonstrations
Society of Ornamental Turners Seminar tutor 1998 to 2011
Association of Woodturners of Great Britain Seminar 2001 & 2011
Woodworking exhibitions 1993-2006
Livery Companies exhibition Guildhall 1994 – demonstrator for Worshipful Company
British Horological Institute demonstration 1995
Art in Action, Waterperry House, 2008
Talks over the years to wood turning groups specializing in history and techniques of ornamental turning
A Celebration of Craftsmanship, Cheltenham 1997 to 2006
Wizardry in Wood 2004 , 2008 & 2012