Saturday, January 20, 2007

Florida Woodturning Symposium 2007

The 2007 Florida Woodturning was Jan 12 - 14 at Lake Yale Baptist Retreat Center near Eustis, FL. The major demonstrators for the symposium were Al Stirt, Binh Pho, Stuart Batty and yours truly. The Friday sessions were given by local demonstrators and there were quite a few hands-on sessions that day. I missed all that action because I didn't fly to Orlando until Friday afternoon. I taught my morning class at OSU, did some errands and tasks at work before heading out in the afternoon for a long holiday weekend.

By the time I got to the symposium site and put my gear into my demonstration room, all of the evening activities were over and many of the turners were hanging out in the fellowship hall. Given the location, the evening refreshments consisted of softdrinks and popcorn.

Here are just a few new friends from L to R: Stuart Lilly (an enthusiastic birder who gave me some good info on where to see a lot of cool birds. See my next post for all of those pics.), Al and Sherry Hockenberry, and Bob Elliot (he organized a hands-on class for me to teach on MLK day).

That's Ruth Niles on the far left. She was a good sport and got up with me before dawn on Saturday morning so I could go look for birds before breakfast. She also had a booth in the trade show where she sells her T-shirts, bottle stopper supplies and miscellaneous tools and gear.

I woke up way before dawn on Saturday so I was in place to take some sunrise pictures looking over Lake Yale. I hadn't seen much of the place the night before, and I was surprised about how large an area this retreat center encompassed. This picture was taken from the dock nearest the cafeteria.

A couple of early risers up to see the dawn (Sherry and Al Hockenberry).

Ruth, Sherry and Al.

Breakfast was served cafeteria style. I should have been prepared for the food here given what someone had said to me the night before ("you'll gain weight, but you won't enjoy it"). It reminded me of my childhood days at summer camp.

Being the only game in town, though, you take what you get.

This morning it was cold eggs, cold French toast, cold bacon, and dirty water masquerading as coffee. Fortunately, the meals were the only thing one could complain about at this symposium. Everything else was done very well and the committee are to be congratulated on being so organized, well prepared, and helpful to the demonstrators and attendees.

I gave my "All About Wood" talk first thing after breakfast and then I had the second rotation and lunchtime free to do a walkabout to see the instant gallery, check in on the other demos and to walk around the grounds a bit. After Saturday's lunchtime I had four rotations in a row - two on Saturday afternoon and two on Sunday morning. I demonstrated surface enhancement (mostly pyrography) and coloring techniques.

Housing was on-site in motel-style facilities.

The main auditorium is really a church, but that's where the trade show was housed. The demonstration rooms were in wings flanking the main hall.

Here's Lyle Jamieson at his trade show space. You can't miss Lyle in his bright rodeo shirts.

I didn't take an excessive number of pictures from the instant gallery, but here are a few to give you a sampling of what was on display.

This norfolk island pine bowl was treated with oil and was semi-translucent. It was made by Gerhard Schwenke.

Vessels by Binh Pho. Binh did rotations on piercing and airbrushing techniques as well as one session on turning a thin-walled vessel.

Embellished turnings by Don Duden.

This is a fire engine made for an AAW collaborative challenge by the Space Coast Woodturners.

One of Lyle Jamieson's torsos. These are hollowed on multiple axes and then carved.

A carved hollowform by Dixie Biggs. These look like eucalyptus leaves, but I didn't catch the title of the piece.

John Jordan vessels.

Embellished vessels by Al Canton.

A spiral fluted vessel with a complex finial by Richard Morris.

A large vase by Alan Cole.

Here's a view of the instant gallery and part of the trade show. The stained glass windows offer a touch of class, I think.

Vicki Jordan spends a lot of time minding the booth while John is busy networking.

She brings her beadwork along and keeps busy when everyone is away watching the demonstrations.

Don Geiger was there showing his Ellsworth grinding jigs and accessories. I have one of these set-ups in my shop and it's perfect for putting the correct grind on the Ellsworth gouge with minimal fuss.

Al Stirt and I split a large room for our demos in one wing of the building. It was a lot of fun to listen to his demos while I was doing my own. Every once-in-awhile our demos were quiet at the same time, but most of the time I was having to talk over the sound of the lathe going across the room partition.

I was delighted to learn that Al enjoys taking long canoe trips in the northern wilds of Canada. That sounds pretty cool, I think.

Stuart batty demonstrated a variety of techniques with his usual flair.

Here's Binh Pho doing an airbrushing demo.

Some of the ladies kept busy all weekend in a craft corner.

Looks like a lot of fun, too.

I've not spent much time in Florida, and this is the first trip there since I seriously started birding about a year ago. I was interested in seeing a lot of the overwintering birds that you don't see in Ohio, and some of the local fauna unique to Florida. The rest of my break was spent walking around the grounds to do some birding.

I knew the dock would have a lot to offer given all of the droppings I had noticed earlier that morning. Sure enough, there were a lot of different species perched on the rails and benches there. This is a double-crested cormorant.

From left to right: Forster's Tern, Royal Tern, and Ring-billed gull. The two terns were new to my life list (the list one keeps of all the birds seen).

Another new lifer - an Anhinga. This is related to the cormorant, but it has a straight beak and it has a unique swimming habit - only it's neck and head are above water when it swims.

Detail of a Forster's Tern,

and a Royal Tern.

I'm not sure what these aquatic plants were, but they were pretty cool anyway. I'll have to do some research. This one looks like it's in the Alismataceae.

This is, too, but I don't know the genus.

I walked over to the creek to look for an alligator to photograph, but didn't see one. Here's another Anhinga. These are cool looking birds.

Just below the perching Anhinga was a pair of Common Moorhens. I hadn't seen this species before, either.

A closer look after the display behavior finished.

Here's a group portrait. The birds are reacting to a bunch of noise that's approaching.

Yep, a noisy boat motoring too close to shore and throwing a wake into the mouth of the stream. A lot of the wildlife reacted to this disturbance with squawks and by running/swimming away. Stupid humans. . .

I wasn't looking for Great Blue Herons and only spotted this one because the boat scared it out of its roosting spot.

It's a beauty, that's for sure.

Saturday night there was an auction to raise money for the next symposium. Attendance was pretty good and they seemed to do well.

Here's a view of the action.

Here's one of the highlights of the weekend. Archie McCallister attended my last rotation and introduced himself to me. What a treat. I've always enjoyed Arch's posts on the woodturning groups.

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