Jason Lock began working with wood from a young age and started a carpenter and joinery apprenticeship straight after school in Colchester, Essex. That’s where he first discovered the art of woodturning.
Tragically, after ten years as a successful carpenter, Jason had a serious accident at work and fractured his spine in four places, which left him permanently needing to use a wheelchair.
Not wanting to give up with working with wood, Jason started using a lathe again and teaching himself to turn sitting down. He began mixing wood and resin and arrived at a different way of pouring resin, so it is more like painting with the materials.
Jason was the recipient of our Turners Award in 2020 which is currently inviting applications. We caught up with Jason recently and put a few questions to him about the benefits of receiving the award.
Q. How has Cockpit supported the development of your practice?
Due to the pandemic, growth has been harder as it was so difficult to have people see my work. Now we are coming out of the pandemic, I have been asked to do art fairs and exhibitions in venues that I wouldn’t have been invited to if I wasn’t at Cockpit.
Being at Cockpit has improved a lot of the behind the scenes factors that people don’t see. From the values of the business, to how I tell the story of the products that I make. Also, my social media following has grown a lot.
Q. What difference has being at Cockpit made?
A. Without Cockpit and with the pandemic, I think my business would have perhaps gone under, or have gone backwards – and I know I wouldn’t have had as much success selling purely online.
Q. What challenges have you overcome this year?
A. I know we have all had the same challenges and a big one was not seeing customers in person. But what surprised me is how much I have learnt about selling online. I know a lot of people have lost their businesses and jobs, so to be able to come out of the pandemic with a business was the biggest surprise and I wouldn’t have achieved that without Cockpit.
All of our makers work with Cockpit’s team of business coaches. David Crump, our Head of Business Incubation, tells us: “Jason’s route to Cockpit differed from most makers who join us, and that offered challenges at times, but he tackled everything with determination, energy and enthusiasm.”
The Cockpit Turners’ Award
Designed for aspiring or established turners – i.e., people who practice the art and craft of turning on a lathe in wood or other materials. The Award provides space and time for a turner to grow their business, increase profitability and develop their profile. We are looking for someone who has an entrepreneurial spirit as well as creative excellence and craft skills.
Previous Award winners include Loewe Craft Prize finalist Eleanor Lakelin (2011), Chloe Robertson (2012), Darren Appiagyei (2017) and Arturo Soto (2019).
The award is currently open for applications, with a deadline of 4 April.