Richard Kennedy

‘I am a self taught woodturner who is interested in the development of woodturning as an art form as well as maintaining the highest standards of the craft. My work varies depending on many factors. Inspiration comes from looking at the world around me, be it a walk with the dog, to a trip to see art. I am keen to develop my own personal skills and to raise the awareness of woodturning in a similar way to that of glass and ceramics.  I work in the west of Scotland where I run a small gallery. Being isolated from many influences in my field means that my work is highly original.’

‘For the last 10 years I have been self employed as an artistic woodturner. Overseeing the running of Bole the Gallery in the West of Scotland.’ Richard Kennedy

Using mainly British hardwood sourced from environmentally sound suppliers, windblown and drift wood when available. Working with wood is a privilege and something he finds hugely satisfying. His work focuses on creating ornamental pieces rather than functional items. When creating a piece he finds that a compromise needs to be struck between the artist and the raw material. Working with nature rather than against it flowing line, form, and proportion are paramount to his design. Richard has sold pieces all over the world but has settled in Argyll to work influenced by its dramatic scenery and raw beauty. He is inspired by the simplest of things, the shape of the shoreline or a weathered rock; everything has a line that can be used in his work. He is currently exploring piercing, colour and the hollow form.

Wood is intrinsically varied in colour, texture and strength something that has to be carefully considered when creating thin walled pieces.  Starting with a solid block of wood the outside shape is created first. This establishes the line and feel of a piece. On patterned pierced work it is essential to get an even wall thickness of less than 2mm this is done using specially sharpened gouges, a diamond hone is use to keep a keen edge.

Once the bowl shape is completed the next phase can begin, the piercing. This is accomplished using a high speed rotary hand drill and a tiny 1mm sharpened burr. The design is created without drawing on the surface, except to define the areas that are to be cut.  A little like a dentists drill this machine allows very precise control. Over the course of several days the piercing is completed by hand, this is the longest phase of production.

The final stage is to paint the work. Paint is used to allow the viewer to see the piercing clearly. If the wood grain was left visible the overall effect is too busy on the eye. It also allows the viewer to focus on the outside line and form of the work. A single piece can take up to 4 weeks to complete.  This is only one of the many styles of work I produce for more information please feel free to visit my website ( my Facebook page ( or the gallery page ( or contact me direct (

Exhibitions, Outlets and Awards

  • 2015 – Artmap Argyll Open Studios Event
  • 2015 – Del Mano Turned and Sculpted Exhibition Online USA
  • 2015 – Jane Reeves Gallery, Padstow
  • 2014 – Craft Centre and Design Gallery Christmas exhibition, Leeds
  • 2014 – The Galley Cafe, Tarbert
  • 2014 – Tig Gallery Tighnabruich
  • 2014 – Craft & Design magazine Wood and Metal selected maker of the year Gold
  • 2014 – Art Palm Beach William Zimmer Gallery
  • 2013 – Arteria Christmas exhibition, Lancaster
  • 2013 – SOFA Chicago William Zimmer Gallery
  • 2013 – Artmap Argyll Open Studio member
  • 2013 – Craft & Design magazine Wood and Metal selected maker of the year Silver
  • 2013 – AAW Symposium “Currents” exhibition
  • 2013 – Art Palm Beach William Zimmer Gallery
  • 2012 – SOFA Chicago William Zimmer Gallery
  • 2012 – Artmap Argyll open studios member
  • 2012 – AAW Symposium “Walk in the Woods” Exhibition
  • 2011 – The Iona House Gallery
  • 2011 – Coastal Design Gallery
  • 2010 – Artmap Argyll Open studios member
  • 2010 – The Biscuit Factory Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • 2009 – Artmap Argyll Open Studios Member
  • 2009 – Artmap Argyll Pentagon Exhibition Glasgow
  • 2008 – Artmap Argyll Open studios member
  • 2006 – 08 – Lochgiphead Art Festival
  • 2008 – Clachan Art Festival
  • 2005 – 08 – Displayed at Ardfern Art Festival
  • 2003, 2005 Washington Arts Centre Biddick Christmas Show
  • Studio 1 Gallery – Edinburgh (2006 – 09)
  • The Archway – Lochgilphead
  • Luckenbooth Gallery – Tarbert
  • The Giving Tree – Craobh Haven
  • Azure – Ayr
  • Fie-Fi-Fo-Fum – Corbridge (2005-06)

Richard Kennedy 2016