Dave Stovell came on an advanced course with me yesterday. He brought his own lathe (Pole Lathe 2000 model) as he thought that could be part of the cause of his problems - it wasn't.
He was having a few problems with various aspects of turning - one of which was the use of the skew chisel. I got him to turn a string of balls and eventually he started to produce the right kind of shavings. They should look like thin strands of "angels hair" when the tool is being used correctly to plane such a surface.
We also discussed sharpness - there's a big difference between a tool which seems sharp and will cut and a razor sharp edge which will shave hair.