My name is Emma. I am 35 years old. I hail from the great county of West Yorkshire; and standing at the mighty height of 4 feet, 10 and a half inches, you may be able to understand why I adopted the business name of 'The Tiny Turner'!
I adore working with wood because it has a story and a soul of its own. Each piece has lived its own life and that is what makes it so unique.
YouTube Interview with Emma Cook - filmed and edited in full by Marta Klinta
“I love to work with a material which has a story and a soul of its own.”
I have loved being creative from when I was little... Well, smaller than I am now! There was nothing I couldn't make with cardboard and a roll of sticky tape! I also, very importantly, believe in dragons. But then, who doesn't?
how did I become involved in my craft?
I have been involved with woodwork since the age of 16; when curiosity and intrigue had me marvelling at the creations my younger brother, and my uncle, were producing on their lathes. I ended up tagging along with my brother - James - to our local woodturning supply shop - and walked out with an offer to work for them on Saturdays. I leapt at the opportunity. My brother (being only 15 at the time and under the legal working age) was highly unimpressed: I had 'stolen' his job. Evil older sister!!
Nevertheless, I worked at the shop for two years, where I had the wonderful opportunities of meeting many talented woodturners and craftsmen, and became a student of Tony Wilson - a seated woodturner - whom I greatly admire still to this day. I began to become involved in various woodwork shows via Tony, inevitably meeting many new people with all sorts of different skills.
At the North of England Woodworking & Power Tool Show in 2008, I was introduced to Michael Painter - one of the few Master Carvers left in the UK. He suggested I tried my hand at carving. Terrified and overwhelmed by the finesse of Michael's work, I tentatively agreed to come and take a peek at what his lessons entailed...
...After two years of sporadic lessons from Michael, as I was trying to complete my degree in Performance Design at Leeds University, Michael offered to train me professionally. And really, that is where I am at the moment: I am still working with Michael with the aim of becoming the next Master Carver in England!!