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Turning of the Week
Welcome to Woodturners Unlimited !!
WTU 2016 Summer Challenge
For the 2016 Summer Challenge,
I thought I would ‘borrow’ the title of an exhibition I was juried into a year or two ago:
"Put a Lid on It"
Translucent Norfolk Island Pine
One of the most spectacular looks in the world of woodturning is thinly turned translucent Norfolk Island pine. It has dramatic colors, with sharp contrasts between lights and darks and luminosity unmatched by any other species of wood. For those willing to spend the money for supplies and having the patience to work with a turning over a period of two or three months the rewards are well worth the effort.
Shortly after I started turning wood I discovered a number of online woodturning forums where over the years I have received a lot of good information about wood, turning tools and techniques. The various forums have been invaluable resources in my woodturning endeavors. Seeing all of the various projects posted by other turners also provides inspiration so that any turner can find something new to turn.
Sometimes that inspiration comes in the form of a challenge. One of my favorite woodturning websites is Woodturners Unlimited. It is a very friendly little site where I have made many friends and it offers several innovative features not generally seen on other sites. Among those are a formal critique process, member generated articles, member profiles and quarterly turning challenges to test and improve the skills of even the most accomplished turner.
Recently, Curt Fuller, an internet friend from Utah, issued a challenge to the Woodturners Unlimited membership to turn a kendama during the fall of 2015. Curt thought that turning the various parts of the kendama would offer a turning challenge; particularly figuring out how to hold the wood while turning various features.
The Basics of Embellishment
When I first started turning as a hobby around 18 years ago the mainstay works were salad bowls, potpourri holders and a number of other utilitarian items. As a member of the South Auckland Woodturners’ Guild (www.sawg.org.nz) part of the club’s calendar was to hold a sale over the three weeks prior to Christmas. This has become a popular event for customers who can choose from more than 2800 items that are for sale over this period. As you can imagine the shop can be a bit daunting for those trying to choose what to buy. One day I had a light-bulb moment when I was wondering how I could add value to my work and also make it different from the hundreds of other bowls on sale. As it happens I had just been given a second-hand Dremel. This is where my love affair with the Dremel began.
My wife was setting up her annual quilting retreat when it hit me, “Why have we not done a weekend turning retreat?” With the ok of my wife Lana and the Grand River Woodturners Guild, I started the process of setting up such an event. This started in Feb and made the decision to have it a couple weeks after the AAW Symposium in Pittsburg.
The premise of the Retreat was to have it be as much of a hands-on weekend as possible. I ended up with 16 midi lathes that I could use and one larger 3520. I posted this event to Facebook, sent it out to the Guild members and things were on their way. People from around the country were interested. Many had volunteered to demo as well as take part in hands-on. The response was so great fear had set in. Set a limit of 50. Yes, with only 16 lathes, 50 people. We were also going to do off-lathe demos and that would help give those people without a lathe something to learn.