Lancashire man teaches himself how to create remarkable crafted wood after sight loss

A talented wood turner has hand-crafted hundreds of remarkable pens, bowls and candlesticks, despite not being able to see.

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 1:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 3:50 pm
Chris Fisher

Chris Fisher, 48, had picked up the toxoplasmosis virus and became completely blind in just four weeks in 2008.

Chris, of Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley, was forced to quit his job in the motor industry as a old vehicle restoration engineer for BMW as his sight left him.

Stuck for something to do and wondering how he was going to make a living, vampire film fanatic Chris decided he wanted to craft a stake out of wood.

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Chris Fisher

The dad-of-one then spent three months listening to YouTube videos on how to turn wood by simply touching and feeling vibrations.

He then purchased the expensive machinery and he made his first Van Helsing-esque stake.

Proud of his achievement, Chris then took a year of honing his skills and began to make wonderful bowls - and then moved on to making artistic fountain pens.

Chris said: “It did take a long time to get used to turning and I had to keep stopping and starting. I always have to keep a careful ear out just in case the wood is close to splintering or being pushed out of the turner.”

Some of Chris Fisher's work

Chris can sell a hand-crafted fountain pen from anywhere from £30 to £300 and beyond - depending on the type of wood. He said: “People can’t believe that I’m blind – I leave them amazed.”


Chris thinks he picked up the toxoplasmosis virus while playing in a park as a young boy - but has never found out the reason for it.

The virus usually comes from contaminated water, undercooked meats and animal faeces.

Chris with a stake he has crafted from wood

It is usually harmless but can cause serious problems in some people.

Chris Fisher
Some of Chris Fisher's work
Chris with a stake he has crafted from wood