fourteen year old Killeigh entrepreneur Conor Lynch this week launched a new venture - wooden eggcups complete with chocolate egg, gift wrapped and little note explaining what kind of wood it is made from. For two years now the talented woodturner and woodworker has been broadening the range of products he produces. He also has a website www.conorlynchwoodturning.com listing all his products and achievements to date.
Conor makes beautiful wooden objects such as bowls, platters, boxes, egg cups, pens, vases, cheeseboards and much more. He also make products to order such as platters/bowls with an engraving for weddings, birthdays, christenings and presentations. In fact local cancer care charity Dóchas presented former President Mary McAleese with a natural edge sycamore bowl.
All the wood Conor uses is sustainably sourced. “I have never cut down a tree. All the wood I use either fell down or was going to a dump or firewood pile. I sometimes go out to a forest to collect wood that has fallen down. My brother Liam comes in handy for the task of bringing the wood back to the car!!” explains Conor.
He mostly uses wood such as Ash, Beech and Sycamore, simply because these are the most common woods to find in Ireland. He also uses Oak, Yew, Teak, Cherry, Walnut, Laburnum, Mahogany, Eucalyptus, Elm, Flamed Beech, Whitethorn, Iroko, Tulip, Poplar, Bog Oak, Redwood, Apple wood and Plum wood. “I particularly like the patterns on spalted woods - mainly Ash and Beech,” he adds.
The remarkably poised 14 year old adds “I take immense pride in the presentation of my work. I spend almost as much time in packaging the items as I do making them. Each Bowl, Platter, Box and Egg cup is wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. Each Bowl and Platter also comes with a brief handwritten note by myself telling you various things about the bowl or platter - what type of wood it is and what part of the tree it came from.”
He added “I started woodwork at the age of 12. I mainly do woodturning as it is my favourite form of woodworking, although I also do woodwork (making picnic benches, dovetail joint boxes and much more). I work alone but my brother Liam frequently lends me a helping hand with sawing, splitting and carrying the wood.
“I have a workshop which I share with my dad for my woodwork. I have a Lathe (to turn the wood) and a Bench Grinder (to sharpen the tools). I also have countless accessories such as glue, sandpaper, drills, sanders, varnishes, nails and many others things to accomplish my work.
“I was honored to be asked to make a natural edge Sycamore bowl for the (Former) President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and her husband Martin, which was presented by Dóchas social committee. I signed it and wrote a description of where the wood came from etc.”
Conor has also won some pretty impressive awards in the past two years - he achieved 2nd place in the Tullamore Show woodwork competition last year. For this, he entered a set of carved cutlery from Birch wood. This was on display to over 50,000 people who attended the show. “I won €15, and got a lot of publicity for it,” he adds.
Conor took 3rd Prize in the All-Ireland under-19 woodturning competition. There were a total of 10 pieces entered into this competition, most of them from students 16, 17 and 18 years old. He won a trophy, certificate and DVD about decorating a Bowl.
Recently Conor purchased a new Record Power BS350 Bandsaw, which will broaden his scope and allow him to become more self sufficient, as he can now cut up his own wood with ease. It is basically an electric saw where the blade moves in one direction and you feed the timber in to it. “I can now cut up my own blanks, boards, make boxes and maybe even hurleys! My mother was worried about me cutting my fingers off, but the bandsaw is one of the safest machines you can have. All I need to do now is buy an extractor to suck up the dust created by the bandsaw!”