Saturday, October 6, 2007

Queen Victoria

Would you believe that Queen Victoria was a woodturner? How cool is that? According to The Ornamental Turning Center (OTC), the Queen, and others of wealth and royalty, enjoyed turning decorative rosework and swashwork on a machine called an Ornamental Lathe (which is not the same as a regular lathe). According to the OTC website, the Ornamental Lathe was developed in Bavaria around 1525.

Paraphrased from Sandor Nagyszalancy's book "The Art of Fine Tools": In 1794, John Jacob Holtzapffel opened a lathe-making business in which he developed foot-powered lathes with an overhead drive system. A treadle-drive flywheel was coupled with a system of pulleys & drive belts which powered a revolving cutter. By fitting any of a wide variety of cutters, the user could create an unending profusion of surface decorations.

Beautiful, decorative pieces could be made with an ornamental lathe (of which only a few remain). No wonder it appealed to the Queen. Obviously, the creative spirit can be found in any group of people, including royalty.

Photos from "The Art of Fine Tools", Sandor Nagyszalanczy.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Identity Mixed said...

John Jacob Holtzapffel ... Say that ten times fast! :)

Shazza said...

Go Vicky! She really was a modern woman wasn't she?