Monday, October 02, 2006

SWAT symposium

This past weekend was the SWAT symposium in Temple, TX. This was a big symposium - almost 600 registered attendees plus a good number of spouses along for the weekend. I was one of the lead demonstrators along with Clay Foster, Dave Hout, Andre Martel and David Nittmann. I did five rotations, including my scientific outreach lecture, "All About Wood - Aesthetics to Zen." My other rotations were on surface enhancement techniques (texturing, carving, pyrography, scorching, and coloring). It was a lot of fun and I had a good time interacting with my audiences.

I also took a lot of photos and I was amazed to hear so many people ask me, "am I going to be on the blog?" I guess there are a lot of you out there who check my blog every once-in-awhile. Why don't you leave me some comments sometime so I know who you are?

I had some free time after I arrived to take some photos in the instant gallery. Here's my little display - just a variety of small bowls to show the different surface enhancement techniques I would be demonstrating over the weekend.

This is a collaboration by Marcia and John Tolly that was donated to the 2-for-1 raffle.

John Jordan vessels. I really like this design motif.

Here's a detail on the largest one in the display.

A sculpture by Stephen Smith.

"The agony of defeat" by Jerry Bennett. Boy, I wish I could have won this one in the raffle.

One of Gary Sanders' beautiful suspended boxes.

An interesting sculptural piece by Chelsea Deakins.

Steve Worcester had a couple of vessels that included slumped glass lids. These were very interesting to study.

Boxes by Anthony Harris.

David Nittmann made this platter. I think the title is, "His dusty boots are his cadillac."

A vessel with inlay by Ken Terrell.

An hour glass by David Swanson.

I liked this carved bowl by Jimmie Arledge.

Another piece by Ken Terrell. The texturing around the piercings was nice.

These nautilus/ammonoid forms by Raul Pena were my favorite pieces in the instant gallery. I want one!

Joel Crabbe made these jewelry sets.

Joel also made this box with a copper inlay.

This is a redwood vessel by Jerry Rush that has been sandblasted. The soft parts of the growth rings have disintegrated in this process.

A pair of goblets by Andre Martel.

A carved vase by Tom Crosby.

I liked this red oak bowl by Larry Zarra enough that I bought it for my collection.

David Reeks (England) donated this platter with turned fruits to the raffle.

This is a sculptural piece by Chelsea Deakins - another donation to the raffle.

I also had some time to walk around the trade show.

Here are two of my favorite people - Vicki and John Jordan.

Bill Rubenstein at his Stubby Lathe booth.

Ruth Niles selling a variety of things. I bought another Carpe Lignum - Torne Lignum T-shirt.

During one of my free rotations, I went around to see some of the other demonstrators in action. Here's Andre Martel throwing shavings from a lampshade he's making.

Clay Foster demonstrating his hollow forms. I learned a few things from him in the few minutes I was able to watch.

Dave Hout doing a metal spinning demo.

David Nittman doing his thing on stage in the auditorium.

Bruce Hoover doing a sanding demo.

Bruce and I hid out in an art gallery so he could show me his prized possession - a Stelling banjo. Bruce loves to play bluegrass tunes on banjo and I enjoyed listening to them. I should have brought my fiddle!

Here's the back of the banjo - it's gorgeous!

I sure got a kick out of Clay Foster and his name badge. The demonstrators were supposed to have blue ribbons in our packets that were to be attached to the name badge. Several of us didn't have one in our packet, but Clay had some extras. Boy, he sure must be special. . .

Yep - a class of his own. Is this the equivalent of "Best in Show?"

The wives of many of the turners had their own space at the convention center, "the ladies room" as they called it. They did a lot of crafts during the weekend and had their own instant gallery.

Jewelry, paintings, and note cards were on display.

Here are some decorated gourds by Marty Farris.

Carvings by C. J. Solberg.

Quilts . . .

And more quilts.

Miscellaneous doodads and ornaments.

The Saturday night banquet included the raffle for the donated turnings. The screen is showing the small "leaf saturation" bowl I donated.

The turners who donated items sat up in front, in alphabetical order, and presented the donated turnings to the lucky winners. I heard one of the committee members mention that they had raised over $6,000 from the raffle. It sure went much faster than an auction.

Steve Worcester and I were at the end of the alphabet and so we had to entertain ourselves during this long give-away process. Hey, Steve, you're on the blog!

This is Charlie Kay in his shop. He and his wife, Janey, brought me back to Austin on Sunday night so I could catch a flight early on Monday. Thanks, Charlie and Janey!

I liked the collection of bottle stoppers Charlie made. I bought one with a lone star for my bottle stopper collection.


Anonymous said...


thanks for the pixs and insight into what looked like a fun event.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your rotations and learned a tremendous amount, thank goodness I took notes so I can refer later. thanks for your great rotations. wayne fitch

Andi Wolfe said...

e - you're very welcome. This was a good symposium and worth attending in the future.

Wayne - thanks for the feedback. I'm always glad to hear that the information I share finds a good home. Don't forget to look up the articles in the AAW volume 2 of "tips and techniques." I have two articles on pyrography there.

Anonymous said...

Andi, What an honor to have one of my piecs included in your selection. Your demos were very appreciated to all that attended. Looking forware to seeing your next masterpiece on WOW.
C. Tom Crosby

Andi Wolfe said...

Tom - that's a nice piece. I'm looking forward to seeing the next one in the series.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your lecture on botany. It provided me a great basic understanding of the reasons my pieces react the way they do. Thanks again. I will be looking into picking up a kit for doing pyrography myself.
Thanks again and I look forward to seeing more at a future symposium.
Gil Lhotka

Anonymous said...

Thank you again for joining us at SWAT. The recognition of any my pieces on your web site is greatly appreciated as there were so many excellent items on display in the Instant Gallery. Thanks again for your oustanding demonstrations. Ken Terrell

Anonymous said...

Andi, it was a pleasure having you at SWAT and helping you in a small way. Though I did not get to sit in on your demonstrations, many said how much they enjoyed and learned from you. What a wonderful surprise to see the illusions bowl that Marcia and I made and donated for the two-for-one raffle here on your blog. Sure hope you can make it back again. Johnny

Andi Wolfe said...

Wow, thanks for leaving comments! It's nice to know who's checking the blog. For everyone whose work is shown here, you're very welcome. The instant gallery of a symposium is always a highlight for me whether I'm an attendee or demonstrator.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andi- I am enjoying your blog journeys, and good info about other sumposiums I can't attend. Thanks, and come visit the new show on Short North in Columbus this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Andi, it was a pleasure to meet you after admiring your work from afar. Last week I created a closed vessel, a plate and bowl from crotch wood to take advantage of the grain structure you explained in your "All about Wood" session. I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to proceed with them before. Thanks. I'm pleased with the way they turned out.
It was also a pleasant surprise to see my sandblasted piece of redwood included in your pictures. And your comments about Oak and Ash being candidates for this process is something I hadn't considered. It brings up interesting possibilities. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Ron Day from Bryan/College Station Texas said:

Even though it has been a few days since your sessions at SWAT, I am still amazed at how much ground you covered about our "hobbies." Thank you so much for the ideas.

Someone asked about the differences between a Dremmel, Foredom, and high speed motorized hand tools. You use the Foredom and so do I -- at one time there were four in my shop! The old models have been sold, but I still use two Foredoms. One stays packed in a toolbox for my use at antique shows. The other is used EVERY day in my home shop. The question concerned which is best and why. You gave a good answer, but the basic issue really is function and dependability. I started with a Dremmel (cheaper) but did not last two years. My Foredoms were purchased in 1998, used heavily and have only need one new foot control and one flex cable replaced. I can't speak for the high speed units as I have not needed one yet. My woodturning club friends tell me the high speed is required to perforate wood turnings. I do not agree.

With a Foredom top speeds around 18,000 rpm, it has another asset -- torque or twisting force of this machine is excellent and capable of perforating, punching, polishing, or whatever you desire. You know this and so do I. Yet there are many crafts persons who do not take advantage torque and rely on "high speed handpieces" to do the job.

All this is a long answer to tell you I agree with you in many ways and wish you well in all future projects. You should be with us sometime at a Gulf Coast Woodturners Association meeting in Houston to view the results of your instructions at SWAT. We do have a club gallery at each meeting.

Andi Wolfe said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Jerry - I'm glad my "All About Wood" talk was useful to you. I just gave the same lecture last night at the Western Cape Woodturners Association in Cape Town, South Africa. I think the attendees learned a few things, too.

Ron - good points, thanks for sharing your perspective.