2015 Poppy Appeal (Turned and Carved Poppies)

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Its that time of the year again. When the clocks go back and the nights draw in that we also remember those who have fallen in past conflicts. They  say that all of us have been affected by conflict in one way or another but I have been lucky not to have lost any relative due to the wars which have taken place in the past. While the act of war is debatable one fact still remains, people, good people have fought and died (and will continue to do so) for our country.

The poppy appeal which has been run by the British legion helps raise money for veterans of both current and past conflicts. Many people this year have suggested I had a go at trying to make some wooden poppies and was happy with the result. I wish to share this with as many wood turners and carvers as possible so they may be inspired and raise more money for the charity.

Here’s how I made them.

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I took a length of 3×3 mahogany and turned it to a long cylinder on my lathe.


I then measured just over an inch with my dividers and then marked this out all along the piece of wood.


These were then cut to individual lengths


The centre was then marked with my centre finder and then a hole drilled a third of the way through the wood.


This was then mounted onto my screw chuck.


Then turned. I worked on the sides first, tapering the sides to create a saucer like dish. The inside was then turned using a tiny bowl gouge but leaving the central piece in place.


The hole I had drilled for the screw chuck was then bored out wider to allow for the dowels I had wanted to use. Above is how they currently looked after being turned.


Next these were carved. I worked by dividing the dish into 3 petals by creating dips using my power carver. The underside was then carved out using my burrs and softened to remove the sharp edges.


A dark red primer was then sprayed onto the poppy to create a deeper red. By this point I still hadn’t mounted the dowels to the flowers because they were going to get covered in spray paint.

These were then given a top coat and the seed bit of the flower (forgotten what it’s called) painted black. The dowel was then glued into place and a coat of lacquer then applied.


The finished poppies have quite thick petals and so can be placed outside if desired as a result. These are currently on sale for £5 at my local florist with all money raised going to the British Legion. Lets just hope I sell some.



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