About Phil Irons

Phil Irons in his Woodturning Workshop

Born in Australia, Phil was brought up with wood in the family, his father was a woodworker and together with his mother they were antique restorers.

Phil’s introduction to woodturning came at the age of 13 when his father acquired a cast iron child’s treadle lathe, made in the USA in the 1870s. He took it up as a serious hobby in his late 20s and after a six year spell in the travel industry he took the decision in 1994 to make it his profession.

His knowledge and appreciation of English timbers was initially gained from working as a tree surgeon/forester for several years.

He has won numerous awards in national competitions and is regularly invited to teach and demonstrate his techniques nationally and at an international level, including, France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, South Africa, New Zealand and the USA. Phil is the author of several magazine articles and a best selling project book “Woodturning, Two in One” that has been translated into nine languages.

He is best known for his coloured vessels and hollow forms with their clear, beautiful shapes and flowing lines, always striving for the perfect form. He uses wood salvaged from tree surgeons and firewood merchants. This wood often has no other commercial value other than as firewood.

His reason for colouring wood is to enhance the hidden figure in white woods usually crotch wood or ripple, Sycamore, Silver birch, Ash, Maple, and the like.
Taking something very bland and using bright contemporary colours to make the figure “pop” so that the beautiful "hidden" figure can be seen from a distance rather than just close up.

He is a member of the AAW and the AWGB and a Registered Professional Turner.