This month is the second of two mini-symposiums for the year. The line up includes:
- Don Mars demonstrating inside out turning;
- Justin Parson demonstrating pen turning;
- Kathy Garlick selling at the club store;
- Doug Reynolds showing Kintsugi For Woodturners: Make it a Feature NOT a Flaw!;
- Pat McCart showing sharpening;
- John Howard demonstrating turning tool handles;
- Jimmie Allen demonstrating the D-Way beading tools and selling his D-Way and BoxMaster tools.
Working with wood has been a source of peaceful intrigue since my childhood. When creating, I try to practice “presence,” or mindfulness, so I can stay safe and make the most of my time creatively. I strive to balance the seemingly opposite goals of absolute physical control and creative surrender. On my best days, I can zoom in on the finest material details, while also acknowledging how various elements might play to a piece’s artistic message. Approaching studio time in this way may not be the most productive in terms of volume, but it allows me to explore and fully understand things in a more satisfying way.
As an artist, I aim to create clean-lined forms with minimal distraction. I use grain, color, and texture to invite an intimate conversation with my work. I enjoy working within self-prescribed constraints, focusing my exploration to develop philosophical concepts into series. Currently, my work represents curiosities relating to water, energy, and the human spirit.
I began turning wood in Junior High School. While visiting an uncle in Southern California he noticed my excitement about wood turning and he gave me a lathe that he never used. With paper route earnings I purchased tools from Sears and my dad and I began turning on our midsized lathe. After seeing pens in a woodworking store in Port Townsend I said to my wife “I could make that!” Years later I wandered into a store and discovered pen kits and asked how to make them. The owner gave me a three minute lesson and after purchasing the needed extras for the lathe I began my current wood turning adventures.
The real turning point was Eric giving me a rough turned Madrone burl bowl. That was so exciting to turn. Dave Schweitzer noticed my excitement and asked me to come and see him. He had no idea what he was in for. After a long day at Dave’s he finally got rid of me after six in the evening. This began a marathon of turning wet wood and learning and practicing the techniques that had been shown. Two hundred rough turned bowls later there were signs of hope in my finished bowls.
Back to Dave’s and now hollow forms started popping up at home. A day with Roy Lane helped that experience as well. So much to learn and so little time, with lots of practice happiness ensued. Urns, baby rattles and vases appeared, some with dyed and some natural finishes.
The many demonstrators at our club and others continued to teach techniques that were new to me. With practice these new methods became easier to use and led me to produce better results.
– Dan Stromstead
This month’s demonstration, “Airbrushing and Other Methods of Adding Color,” will be presented by a familiar face: Russell Neyman, a longtime friend of the South Puget Sound Woodturners.
“I came to the conclusion very early in life that I wanted to do many different things,” Neyman said recently. “Perhaps I’m easily bored or maybe I have some sort of ADHD disorder, but doing the same thing for any great length of time bores me.”
Woodworking and, more specifically, woodturning is in his blood. His grandfather, built cabinets and furniture, and many of his tools are in Russell’s shop today.
Russell makes tall, dramatic hollow forms – vessels with incredibly small openings through which he has removed the interior with a series of hooks and scrapers – typically adorned by a sweeping finial or decorative feather. He also makes gift boxes and cabinets, often featuring a secret compartment.
Neyman was President of the Olympic Peninsula Woodturners for more than three years, taking over when the previous club leader was unable to complete his term in 2013. Since leaving office in January of 2016, he has dedicated himself to promoting the craft, mentoring new woodturners and teaching formal classes in his Port Orchard studio. Currently, he conducts one-on-one sessions for would-be turners through a program called, “The Woodturning Experience.” Nearly 1000 individuals have turned with him.
Ken took up woodturning in 2008 and has been a member of the AAW and the Woodturners of Olympia since then. He has served on the Board of the Woodturners of Olympia since he started turning and served as Club President from January 2014 through June 2018. Ken has lived and worked in Olympia most of his life. He retired in 2013 after a 35-year career in Washington State government.
In addition to general turning, Ken has always enjoyed finding ways to displays spheres. A few years ago, he took on the challenge of developing a method to make a sphere float in air. This led to him writing an article for the August 2022 edition of American Woodturner titled Levitating Spheres. Ken’s demonstration will show how he uses electromagnets and dipole magnets embedded in his turnings to make a sphere float in air. Due to time constraints, he won’t actually turn a sphere but, instead, will focus mostly on the steps he takes to prepare a sphere blank, dividing it in two and embedding a magnet in what will become the bottom of a sphere. He will discuss making the base that holds the electromagnet but, in less detail as it requires only basic woodturning skills.