Turkish Spindles

For the most part, when it comes to drop spindles, I prefer top whorl ones. For bottom whorls, I prefer supported, not drop spindles. But for some reason, I have a weakness for Turkish Spindles.

I came across my first Turkish spindle at Sherpherd’s Extravaganza. Kurt Ocker made these spindles for his sister, Kat Dobroth.  Kurt was so passionate about his woodworking and the spindles were gorgeous. I started to collect these little babies.At each Shepherd’s Extravaganza or Black Sheep Gathering, he would seek me out and show me the latest woods he used. His enthusiasm was contagious. Next thing I know, I have a small stable of these lovelies. Unfortunately, they no longer make the rounds of the shows and their spindles are no longer available.

But then, I found Jenkin’s Turkish Spindles. They look very similar. There is just a wee bit difference in the way the notch is cut on the tops of the spindles. Otherwise, they are identical, and they both love their exotic woods. Now, my stable is a mishmash from both woodworkers.

L-R: Standard, Delight, Lark, and Kuchulu (as named by Jenkins)

Here is a picture of a representative sample of the different sizes I own. The standard sized one on the left is actually one of the first Turkish spindles I purchased, and it’s crafted by Kurt. Believe it or not, the Delight is actually much lighter than the Lark, due to the wood.

Here’s a close up of the Standard and the Lark. Would you believe that they are both Pink Ivory? The Standard, while it has not been in the sun, has aged somewhat on the mantel over the course of the past 6-8 years or so. The Lark was purchased this past August so the wood hasn’t darkened yet.

I just have to say, these are a blast to spin and are the perfect traveling companion. Why? I can just stuff these in the bag with a bit of wool and not have to worry about damaging the hook on a top whorl spindle.

Want to see one in action?

Iris spinning on the Lark while we were waiting for our meal in La Push, WA.

Edited to Add: There’s a little write up on Kat and Kurt here. It’s in the last segment.

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