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Hobby helps Darren turn his life around with his own art and craft shop

PUBLISHED: 12:57 28 April 2018 | UPDATED: 14:28 28 April 2018

Woodturner Darren Breeze by his lathe in his new workshop and shop Art and Craft in Wood on Lowestoft High Street. 
Picture: Nick Butcher.

Woodturner Darren Breeze by his lathe in his new workshop and shop Art and Craft in Wood on Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2018

It started out as a hobby just over 10 years ago, and now Darren Breeze has used his woodturning talents to open his own shop in Lowestoft.

Some of the products made by woodturner Darren Breeze. Picture: Nick Butcher Some of the products made by woodturner Darren Breeze. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Breeze, 49, took up the hobby after a rough few years when his business and home life were on the point of collapse.

In his younger years he battled drink and drug problems, but after moving back to East Anglia he became a father to twins and set up his own business as a builder.

However when the recession hit his business suffered and with stress and depression hitting him hard he was in need of a release.

He said: “I didn’t have any hobbies and I needed to do something. I saw a piece of work by a woodturner called Nick Agar and it was a lot different to what I thought woodturning would be.

Woodturner Darren Breeze has opened a new shop called Art and Craft in Wood on Lowestoft High Street. 
Picture: Nick Butcher. Woodturner Darren Breeze has opened a new shop called Art and Craft in Wood on Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Nick Butcher.

“After a couple of lessons I bought a lathe to have a go and I’ve been challenging myself ever since to see what I can do.”

Mr Breeze joined the Waveney and Norwich woodturners groups, bought tools, books and magazines and devoted his evenings and weekends to perfecting his craft.

“With a lathe you can go into the workshop and spend half an hour making a pen and an hour making a bowl and have something to show for it when you come out. It was very therapeutic for me,” he said.

Mr Breeze is a member of the Register of Professional Turners, supported by The Worshipful Company of Turners of London, which has been supporting the craft for more than 400 years.

Woodturner Darren Breeze by his lathe in his new workshop on Lowestoft High Street.
 Picture: Nick Butcher. Woodturner Darren Breeze by his lathe in his new workshop on Lowestoft High Street. Picture: Nick Butcher.

He said: “There’s very few people in the world that turn the size and scale that I turn so I’m getting a lot of attention now from all over the world.

“Most traditional woodturners make round brown things, but I make round brown things and then attack them with a chainsaw, blow torch, paints, and graffiti spray.”

The official opening of Art and Craft in Wood, located at 117 High Street in Lowestoft, was held yesterday.

As well as visitors being able to watch him from his workshop, Mr Breeze will also be streaming himself working online and offering classes to those wishing to learn.

Some of the products made by woodturner Darren Breeze.
 Picture: Nick Butcher. Some of the products made by woodturner Darren Breeze. Picture: Nick Butcher.

To find out more visit www.breezewoodturning.com or search for Darren Breeze Woodturning on YouTube.

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