Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thinking of Utah Woodturning Symposium - pics from 2003

Next week is the Utah Woodturning Symposium, which is the longest running one in the USA. I went to my first one in 2003. I was invited to demonstrate in 2004, which was the 25th anniversary of the symposium. I also attended last year and I'm flying out on Wednesday to make it to my fourth consecutive year. It's a wonderful symposium with an excellent line up of demonstrators. This year the focus seems to be on turners from the UK, which should be a lot of fun.

I took a lot of pictures at each of the symposia, too many for a single posting, so I'll post this in three parts for 2003, 2004, and 2005. Here are some highlights from 2003:

This is me with Dale Nish at the Craft Supplies pre-symposium event. Most of the symposium attendees arrive a day early to take advantage of the sales and the demos that go on all day, which feature the symposium demonstrators. It's a good way to get an extra day of rotations in, and everyone has a good time catching up on the year. Dale started the Utah symposium way back when.

Here's Dale Nish with my good friend, Art Liestman. Art is wearing one of his custom designed T-shirts with the "dancing man" script from the Sherlock Holmes novel. The T-shirt translates to: "Andi is a babe." Not really - it says: "Dances with lathes." I'm still waiting for my "Andi is a babe" T-shirt.

Here is one of Dale Nish's wormy ash vessels.

Trent Bosch did some demos at the Craft Supplies event. He was demonstrating carving techniques for adding enhancement to functional bowls.

Trent does a lot of teaching and has his bread and butter functional work, but he's also doing some interesting mixed media sculptural work. These pieces represent his family, usually in groupings of two to five. I've really enjoyed watching the progression of his wood and bronze sculptures.

Phil Irons also did some demos at the pre-symposium show. Phil is a giant of a man - the tallest woodturner I've ever met. He's originally from Australia (note the hat. . .), lived in South Africa, where he met his wife, and now he resides in the UK.

See what I mean about Phil being tall? I'm not a short person by any stretch of the imagination and he towers over me. I get a kick out of Phil giving Bonnie Klein a hug - he just lifts her several feet off the ground while giving her a bear hug.

The Craft Supplies day also involves an on-site bar-b-que. Everyone scrambles for a seat and a place in line. I think I've only gone to the bbq the first year I attended. Since then I've gone to a local hamburger joint down the road with my friend J. Paul Fennell and the rest of the cohort from the Phoenix group.

Joe Fleming is from San Diego, and one of my oldest friends from the World of Woodturning group. He didn't seem to mind the bbq fare. . .

Speaking of San Diego Woodturners, Mike Mahoney started his turning career with that group. Mike has a pre-symposium gathering at his place each year and the San Diego group always goes as do the demonstrators for the symposium, and an assorted group of others, including previous demonstrators. I went to the gathering that night and had a good time. Mike's house is on top of a hill overlooking the valley leading up to the Wasatch Mountains.

Mike's a production turner who sells his work wholesale - lots and lots and lots of salad bowls. He rough turns them from green wood and then seasons the bowls in a basement "bowl room." Here's an example of the way he dries his bowls. He told me that his stock was way down at the moment I took the picture.

Ok, so here are some pics from the actual symposium (aside from the instant gallery pics I already showed of works by Dale Nish and Trent Bosch).

David Nittmann demonstrated how he did his basket illusion vessels and platters. David does not need to use a microphone when he demonstrates. I found that to be very impressive.

David does beautiful designs that look like woven baskets. He uses pyrography and transparent colors for his illusion effects.

Stephen Hughes is from Australia and demonstrated some wonderful techniques for making his amazing boxes. I had some time to get to know Stephen when I was in Australia last fall. See the October and November 2005 archives for more information on that trip.

Here is an example of the amazing boxes that Stephen makes. Unless you see him do a demonstration, you walk away from this scratching your head and mumbling, "how'd he do that?"

Michael Werner also did a couple of rotations. This one was on inside out turnings.

Here are some examples of Michael Werner's inside out turnings.

Here's the display of J. Paul Fennell's and my work in the instant gallery.

Winged bowls done by Stuart Batty.

Another tradition of the Utah Symposium is the evening egg cup race - usually in teams of two. Noble (can't remember his last name) asked me to team up with him to do the race. I was totally clueless here, but had a good time anyway. We didn't win. . .

Here are some of the WoWies that made it to Utah in 2003. I can't remember who some of them were, but J. Paul Fennell and Art Liestman are standing next to me and Joe Fleming is on the far right.

Art Liestman and Graeme Priddle (from New Zealand) at one of our evening dinners.

The final reception at Kip Christiansen's house. Art Liestman, Andi Wolfe, and J. Paul Fennell.

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