Founded on April 21st, 1994 the South Puget Sound Woodturners is in the top 10 clubs in the American Association of Woodturners (AAW).


Our members range from beginner to internationally acclaimed professionals. Our interests range from penmaking to bowls, turned ornaments to hollow vessels, spindles to platters.


Attend our monthly membership meetings and you will find demonstrations on material selection, tool usage, segmenting, wood coloring, ebonizing, and lots of turning techniques.


Twice a year we have a mini-symposium where members demonstrate anything you could imagine.


There are so many more benefits and learning opportunities to membership in the South Puget Sound Woodturners. Come and visit our next meeting and see what turning is all about!

July Membership Meeting

Rick Rich is a meticulous woodturner with a passion for vintage woodturning lesson books and following the plans found inside these treasures. Some of his favorite books include: Elemental Turning by Frank Selden (Popular Woodworking had a reprint of that book); A Course in Wood Turning by Milton, Archie Seldon, 1887-; Wohlers, Otto K., 1893- joint author, Published, 1919; Art & Education in Woodturning, William W. Klenke and an older version titled, The Art of Wood Turning by William W. Klenke.

He appreciates the systematic approach in Elemental Turning and considers these books great resources for those who want or need to use a diagram. He self-confesses, “I am not an artist”. Thus, the detailed plans, illustrations and dimensions in these books provide the starting point for his woodturning passions.

Today Rick is a highly competent and thoughtful woodturner as well as a fantastic instructor. His primary passion is spindle turning. His clear, concise and easy- going teaching approach provides the learner with confidence from the very beginning and throughout the session. For those able to view the taped session from AAW 2024 Symposium, Rick’s session titled Three-Piece Dish clearly displays his teaching approach and mastery of the skew chisel.

Rick will be demonstrating Spindle Turning a Candle Stick Holder.

Teachable Moment

Note – This post is from our newsletter archives. It was the Vice President’s message by Eric Lofstrom from the July, 2009 issue of Chips & Shavings.

Summer is the season of working in the yard, tackling projects, traveling, and turning. Well, some of us find time to turn during these warm months. It seems the past few summers have been so
busy I’ve had to block-out some time on the calendar just to ensure I made a few shavings and kept my skills sharp. During a recent scheduled turning session, I was using one of my favorite tools…the skew…and I had a moment to stop and think back to when this tool raised my hackles. Have you given any thought to how it feels to learn a “brand new” skill? I can hear some of you already saying out loud, “First of all, I still shudder when I think of the skew! Secondly, I’ve got so many things that are new to me in turning, I have those feelings all the time!” But, bear with me.

I had one of those deep thoughts… before I ever used a skew, WHY was I so afraid of putting this tool to a piece of spinning wood? I thought awhile… a trusted source told me I should be. Of course, my early stumbling attempts firmly reinforced this belief. I had several severe catches, one after another, chunks of wood flew off the lathe. When the tool caught, I tightened my grip, widened my stance and dove in as if going to battle. With each catch, the answer seemed obvious: control the tool with more force. But this sweat inducing death grip only made the tool bite with more pant filling excitement! I walked away from the lathe exhausted, nursing my bruised ego and sore forearms for days. How had the skew survived in the arsenal of so many turners when it was such a nasty tool? I would either persist in practicing skew techniques until I made more long curly shavings than catches or decide I’d wasted too many incredible chunks of wood and admit defeat. I couldn’t help but think, “How would my initial experiences have been different if my introduction to the skew was focused on its versatility and the beauty of cutting wood?”

Somewhere along the way, I began shifting away from tightening my grip to viewing each catch as a teachable moment. A moment where the wood and tool give you feedback on how they interact. An opportunity to turn off the lathe and look at why the tool is catching by performing a slow-motion replay. If I wanted to learn how to use the skew with confidence, I needed to deepen my understanding. By stopping the lathe and putting a little effort into observing the mechanics of cutting wood, my opinion of the skew began to change. The skew moved from the “barely worth hanging onto” position in my tool rack to the coveted “Top spindle tool I would want with me if I was stranded on a tropical island with a lathe and unlimited wood.”

During these summer months of traveling and tackling projects, I encourage you to take a moment to think about being “brand new” at something. What are your expectations? Are you open to observing and learning, or will you grip your ego and go to battle? Despite a busy schedule, remember to set aside time for exploring something new. You might just discover a favorite tool or technique! 🙂

May President’s Challenge Winner

The May 2024 President’s Challenge Winner is Steve Miner. If you are not familiar with his work in the past, you will surely remember him now. Steve has a love for turning a natural edge bowl; they are a thing of beauty no matterwho you are. His President’s Challenge piece was pulled off the extra turned piece table because he didn’t knowthe details of May’s challenge. With that beautiful crotch with three sides, Steve decided to go out into nature to get some inspiration in his desire to try his hand at carving following Elizabeth Weber’s April Demonstration. He took several images of azalea leaves he liked, used a photo editor and printer to resize the images to fit on each side of the bowl, and then traced the leaves onto the bowl for a cutting guide. If you looked closely, there were three different types of impressions that were carved from three different leaf patterns.

June Membership Meeting

The Fife Center is closed this month so this is a ZOOM ONLY Meeting. SPSW members will be emailed the Zoom link, or you can find it under “For Members / Upcoming Zoom Meeting Link”.

Art has been integral to Roberto Ferrer from early childhood in Mexico where, ever-present art and craft infused into his life and soul. Early expression of art came through drawing and painting. Sometimes, schoolteachers would need to redirect his attention away from a sketch and back to the class assignment. His initial exposure to woodworking was in his cousin’s furniture shop where he had fun just being there and on occasion, he would have an opportunity to use a saw or a plane. His initial wood projects were a simple table and bookcase.

Today Roberto is a full-time wood artist based in Chicago. His website (Today Roberto is a full-time wood artist based in Chicago. His website (ferrerstudioart.com) displays gorgeous photos of his award-winning work and includes several demonstration videos that show techniques behind his unique work.)displays gorgeous photos of his award-winning work and includes several demonstration videos that show techniques behind his unique work.

What’s Happening at Other Chapters

This information is compiled from Northwest AAW chapter’s websites and newsletters. You should check with the specific chapter if you plan to attend one of their meetings.

The Northwest Woodturners in Beaverton, Oregon will be meeting on June 6th. One of last month’s AAW Symposium demonstrators, Rick Rich, will demonstrate turning a 3-Legged Stool.

The Inland Northwest Woodturners are meeting June 8th at Ferris High School. Doug Eaton will be demonstrating tops.

The South Coast Woodturners in Reedsport, OR, will be meeting on June 8th. This will be the last Learn to Turn session.

mid columbia woodturners logoThe Mid-Columbia Woodturners in Pasco, WA will be meeting on June 8th. Pat Hickey will demonstrate Pepper Mills.

The Seattle Woodturners are meeting in person on June 13th. This month will feature An Introduction to the Rose Engine: Geometric Embellishment done on the MDF Lathe.

The Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild will be meeting on June 13th at the All Saints Anglican Church in Mission, BC. Murray Sluys will demonstrate Building a Stave Drum.

The Oregon Coast Woodturners are meeting on June 15th at Hasting Coastal Woodworks in South Beach. The meeting for the day has not been announced.

The Strait Turners in Sequim will meet on June 15th at the Gardiner Community Center and on Zoom. The meeting for the evening has not been announced.

The Northwest Washington Woodturners will be meeting on June 20th. Club member Jeff Smith will demonstrate his unique set of nesting bowls with a platter.

The Cascade Woodturners in Portland, OR are meeting at the Wild Lilac Center on June 20th. Jim Piper, our well known and local artist, will be demonstrating some of the methods, tools and techniques that he uses to create the art that he is so well known for.

The Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild in Vancouver, B.C. are meeting at Sapperton Hall on June 27th. Bob Gilson will show how to make a knitting bowl.

April President’s Challenge Winner

The President’s Challenge for April was adding resin to your turned piece. Although there were a few entries, they were all very stunning. There was one piece that stood out above the rest, it was a Black Walnut Platter with a resin rim with black walnut shell inlay. The shells are thinly sliced and in order for them to not float to the top of the resin, are glued into the groove and resin added. I have to tell you that the artist is none other than lifetime woodturner, Bob Sievers. I asked Bob how long he has been turning wood and he said ‘forever’; he started turning in high school and has turned every day up until late 2019, he still turns today, just not as often. If you have paid attention in our show-and-tell over the years you can see that Bob is a very talented artist.

Bob came to the Pacific Northwest from Minnesota in 1958 to work at Boeing where he worked for 34 years and has been retired for 31 years so that really is a lifetime of woodturning, I would say over 65 years. WOW! Although he has been a member of the SPSW from the inception as an original member, he has been an ardent supporter of the club and brings his artistry every month he is in attendance.