Ornamental Turning

Ornamental Turning, also called Complex Turning, is executed on a lathe with attachments which convert a plain circular section to variants of outline; these range from a simple series of cuts taken at intervals around the work (so producing grooves or bumps on the surface) to non-circular movements whereby the whole of the circular shape is removed to give a completely different form.

One ornamental turner described it this way:


These days, ornamental turners working in wood often use a rose engine lathe to produce their artistic pieces. But there are other ornamental turning options which do not use a rose engine lathe.

Chinese Nested Spheres

Also, there are some really nice ornamentally turned pieces made on a "traditional lathe". A classic example is the Chinese Nested Sphere pictured to the right.

David Springett's book, Woodturning Wizardry is an excellent resource for such work. These books are very useful also:

This is an interview with Claude Lethiecq about Chineese nested spheres. It was recorded at the 2010 AAW symposium.

David Springett made this video in 2008 about elliptical turning on a lathe.

About this site
Disclaimer : eMail comments to me at OTBookOfKnowledge @ Gmail.com. The process of woodturning involves the use of tools, machinery and materials which could cause injury or be a health hazard unless proper precautions are taken, including the wearing of appropriate protective equipment.