Denise DeRose Demo Update

denise deroseThis is a very special event. We need at least five more people to sign up.

Since this is a very unusual demonstration, we are inviting all participants to bring along their spouses or significant others for no additional charge.

Denise is unique in that her specialty is turning designer purses. I don’t believe that any of you have ever seen anything like this. This is definitely a must-see event.

For those of you who have already signed up, don’t forget to invite your spouse. Just pack an extra bit of lunch and come and enjoy the day. This is truly your chance to learn learn about a new turning medium.

If you can attend, and you should seriously consider it, give Jim Cotter a call at 206- 954-9548.

The demonstration is scheduled for this Friday, April 8th, beginning at 9:00 am at Nancy Sweazey’s Shop in Bonney Lake.

An Alternative to Wood

tectonic plate image
James Thurman's Tectonic Plate
If you have been turning projects out of wood for a while you may wonder what other materials can be used. Acrylics are quite common today, but mostly for small items, such as pens, and as highlights in wood turnings.

If you are an AAW member you should soon be receiving the April issue of the American Woodturner, the official publication of the AAW. This issue has not one, but two articles on using paper as a turning medium.

The first discusses the use of newspaper and does not use any glues or epoxies in the paper. The other demonstrates the use books and other types of paper for creating turning blanks called Mokume Kami.

Here is a teaser of the latter. This video was produced by James Thurman, the author of the second article and shows how he utilizes recycled nautical maps to make a platter.


If you are woodturner and not already a member of the AAW you should consider joining. Besides the six issues annually of the American Woodturner, there are many other great benefits.

AAW Board Message

My Eye-Opener

Botho van HamplenAs a brand-spanking-new member of the Board of Directors of the AAW, I must say it has been an education.

Last month, in his message for the membership, Stan Wellborn marveled at the cohesive contribution made to the club by the volunteers, be they on the Board of Directors or members at large with special expertise.

Being an AAW member for the last decade, I was quite happy to receive the journal, go to the yearly symposium and occasionally communicate with friends I made there.

Little did I know about the awesome depth of our organization, the work that goes into the varying endeavors. All that for a nominal membership fee.

If you take the time to spend an hour on our website, you will be amazed at the treasures of information available to turners–the help to set up and run chapters, the gallery, the forum, the ability to contact any one of 14,000 turners all over the world, all of whom, I am sure, are willing to share their thoughts with you.

Take the symposium by itself. I will never forget my first attendance. Seeing David Ellsworth making the last fine cut in a thin-walled bowl of spalted maple brought it home to me what skill level is possible to achieve. Maybe not for me, but certainly worth striving for.

This year, our 25th Anniversary will be a truly international event, with more visitors and demonstrators from outside the USA than ever before.

And our organization is destined to continue to grow internationally. There is absolutely nothing to compare to the AAW in the turning world.

See you all in St Paul.

Botho van Hamplen

American Association of Woodturners

All Day Turning Event Featuring Denise DeRose

[note]In a continuing effort to bring you the very best of available wood turners, we are very pleased to have Denise DeRose available to us for a day long turning event on April 8th. The demonstration will take place at Nancy Sweazey’s shop beginning at 9:00 am. Denise is an extremely well known turner who specializes in making handbags. The following is the Denise’s artistic statement.[/note]

Artistic Statement
Denise M. DeRose

denise deroseAlthough I do not have formal artistic training, I have been a maker all of my life in several mediums. In the 70’s I was a potter and a florist, in the 80’s a poet and short story writer, in the 90’s I ran a small business sourcing, refurbishing and selling antique light fixtures, and in the most recent decades, after my father died and I inherited his shop, I have become a woodturner. Turning has been my deepest exploration to date. Although I have sold my crafts in several mediums, I have also enjoyed professions as a high school writing teacher and as an attorney. Today my day job is working as in-house counsel for Intel, but that is my job. It is my art and my craft that I wake up thinking about. I live and maintain my studio in Oakland, California, where I spend about 20 hours a week in my shop.

I received most of my woodturning training by taking dozens of classes and private lessons from professional turners and by attending residential classes and acting as a teaching assistant at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinberg, Tennessee. I am also a member of the Bay Area Woodturners Association and have been the Vice President of this organization. I am a contributing author for the American Woodturner Journal, and have written articles for the Journal over the past two years. I am also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Journal.

denise derose handbagAs a turner, I initially built my skills by making bowls and vessels – mostly functional and decorative items. I specialized in very large functional bowls from urban and orchard salvaged trees. Because I use salvaged wood, I can turn oversized pieces – bowls up to 30 inches in diameter from a single piece of green wood. Within the last two years, I have begun making handbags from wood, and found a woodturning niche that is unique and exciting to me. The design and engineering aspect of making beautiful functional handbags from wood has intrigued and challenged me, and I find myself spending more time away from the lathe on carving, painting, and other surface treatments. I have also begun doing the metal work necessary for the bags – hinges, clasps, handles and decorative repousse panels.

Since 2005, I have participated in many juried fairs and festivals, including the Celebration of Craftswomen, the Mill Valley Fall Art Festival, the Marin Art Festival and the Los Altos Art in the Park Festival, and the American Craft Council and Sausalito Art shows in 2010.

denise derose handbagI have only recently begun submitting my work to exhibitions and galleries. In 2009, my work was shown at the “In the Bag” Exhibition at the Olive Hyde Gallery in Fremont, California, at the “National Art Encounter 2009” at ThevonLiebigArtCenter, in Naples, Florida. In 2010, my work was shown at the “Hard & Soft” Exhibition in Denton, Texas and in the MetalWood vs.WoodMetal, The Crucible’s Cathedral Gallery, Oakland, California. My bags will also be carried in the AAW Gallery of Wood Art Gift Store in 2010. Indeed, because my handbags straddle the boundary between fashion, functional craft and art, it has been difficult for me to find the proper venue for them. My bags are featured at the exclusive Circle & Square boutique in San Francisco.

denise derose handbagMy connection to this form – the handbag — has puzzled me, and the symbolic potential of this form intrigues me. I myself have only one utilitarian handbag at a time, and “Fashion” and Denise DeRose have only a passing acquaintance. But there are few things more connected to a woman than her handbag, this physical object always kept, selectively filled and emptied, always close, the feeling of groundlessness when it is left behind. As I move forward with my work, I am interested in exploring the notion of the handbag as a metaphor for the building of a self. What must a woman bring with her? What does a woman carry? What does she need and choose to bring forth or to leave behind – from a past, a parent, a place? The purse, like the woman, is all about inner spaces. What, in a woman’s inner self, must she carry with her, and how might it be expressed through the symbolism of the handbag and its contents. These are all questions left for me to explore.

denise derose handbagJudging from my past history, and the direction my turning has taken over the last year, it is difficult for me to look ahead and predict where my creativity and increasing skills will take me. But I am certain that the path will be eventful, and that I will pursue it with energy and devotion.

You can see more of Denise’s work on her website at

The only way we can continue to bring in great turners is to have our membership participate. There are still spaces available. If you are interested in attending this demonstration please contact, Jim Cotter at 206- 954-9548.

Chapter Profile – Honolulu Woodturners

honolulu woodturners logoI came across Ron Kent’s website by way the of Honolulu Woodturners chapter of the AAW.

The Honolulu Woodturners have about 110 members and meet in odd numbered months with demonstrations and other events in even numbered months. Upcoming events include demos by internationally known artists Kip Christensen and Keith Tompkins and the Woodturners Show at Nohea Gallery.

The club has a nice website with lots of great information. This includes all of their newsletters back to the club’s beginning in 2000. They include their officer, members and mentor listings, as well as their by-laws.

One of the first things you will want to do is look at their galleries. The quality and variety of the turnings is stunning. From traditional Hawaiian Calabash bowls and goblets to pepper mills and hollow vessels, there is enough inspiration to keep you going in your shop for a long time.

You will also find a page with great resources with something for every turner. There is also a tips page that has useful tutorials and jigs to help with your turning education. For example, if you attended our last mini-symposium you would have seen Jack Wayne demonstrate turning a collar for a hollow form. If you missed it, there is a nice tutorial on the Honolulu Woodturners’ site.

Take a few minutes and check out the Ron Kent’s website by way the of Honolulu Woodturners‘ website. Who knows, maybe someday you will make a trip to Oahu and will be able to visit their meeting.

Segmented Woodturners Board Election

segmented woodturners logoThe Segmented Woodturners, a virtual chapter of the AAW with nearly 1,000 members, is currently holding elections for the board of directors. There are 7 open positions on the board and ballots have been sent out to members. If you are a member of the Segmented Woodturners you are encouraged to cast your ballot. The election closes at midnight on March 31st, 2011.

The current President is Malcolm Tibbetts, who SPSW members may remember was a demonstrator at our February, 2009 membership meeting. More information can be found on the Segmented Woodturners website.