Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A visit to the Northwest Michigan Woodturners

I had a nice visit with the Northwest Michigan Woodturners this past weekend. I did a two-day demonstration and a one-day hands-on class. It was really fun to do the two-day demonstration format. I wasn't sure that I would be able to fill that much time, but we sure did cover a lot of territory in two days.

I started out with turning a small bowl, then a scorching demo on coarse grained wood, and a powerpoint presentation on my design inspirations. This is where I share a lot of biographical information and do some scientific outreach on my botanical research. After lunch I spent the afternoon doing a carving demonstration - the first time I've actually covered that material. I showed all the different tools and burrs I use to do my sculptural pieces and then I carved a leaf surface, worked a bit on a pollen grain inspired sculpture, and then a new piece based on wood anatomy inspirations.

The next day continued with texturing with power carving tools combined with scorching effects. Next up was texturing and carving using pyrography. After lunch I did another powerpoint presentation - this one was called, "All about wood - aesthetics to zen." I developed this talk to explain wood anatomy as it relates to figure and grain and to also present some of the ethnobotanical uses of trees. I finished the weekend with a demo on coloring techniques.

Here are some pictures from the hands-on class. I had six students in the class - I remember first names, but last names didn't stick with me.

Students begin with a sampler board, learning how to burn clean, straight and curved lines. Then a grid with different texturing patterns that will be used on the project board. We generate an awful lot of smoke, so we had to have some fans blowing the air out of the building. We worked in Lyle Jamieson's new shop - a very nice facility.

Peggy is getting some pointers on how to do curved lines.

Larry is also getting some pointers while Steve is working on his sampler.

Lyle Jamieson (yellow shirt) joined in the fun to help me finish a sample project. Thanks, Lyle!

Dave worked on a desert scene for the project.

Len working on coloring with Prismacolor markers.

Dave and Steve working on acrylic paint techniques.

Here are the six project boards completed. This bunch caught on pretty well and did some nice work!

And, here's our happy group at the end of a productive day. Front row L to R: Len, Steve and Dave. Back row L to R: Larry, Peggy, Mike and yours truly.

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