The Society of Ornamental Turners exists to encourage, develop and promote the study and practice of the art of ornamental turning. This encompasses a wide variety of types of work including traditional English ornamental turning as exemplified in Volume V of Holzapffel's book ‘The Principles and Practice of Complex and Ornamental Turning’, Rose engine turning (both with fixed and rotary tools), Geometric Chuck work and Engine turning on metal.
This work may be carried out using historic machinery from such makers such as Holtzapffel, Evans or Birch (which must first be carefully restored to working order, a task which some members find as pleasurable as the actual ornamental turning), or alternatively modern approaches may be taken either painstaking construction of accurate replicas of historical equipment, or alternatively entirely original approaches (even some CNC), or – improvised from scrap. Fine work has been produced, in the right hands from all these approaches.
The society organize seminars to pass on knowlegde on the craft of ornamental turning. Nick Edwards, a past president of the society, wrote an article describing the setups which were used at a seminar which he hosted. The article was originally published in the society bulletin (one of the membership benefits), but an edited version is now available online.
This video produced by Mike Bain gives an introduction to the society and to the varied interests of its members.