Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Turnfest 2007 minus 1

Turnfest 2007 took place at Kooralbyn resort in southern Queensland March 30 - April 1. I was fortunate to have been invited as one of the international turners to participate in this year's symposium. I caught a ride on Thursday morning with Bill, one of the organizers, from Brisbane. That gave me all of Thursday to relax and get acquainted with the grounds of the resort.

My first order of business, after checking in, was to find a cup of coffee. I sat on the patio by the water feature and enjoyed some espresso in the company of the local water dragons. These are pretty cheeky lizards who come right up to your chair or feet and beg for food. Some of them are quite large, too.

No, that's not a lizard hiding behind the chair - it's Terry Scott from New Zealand, one of the other international turners at this year's event.

Terry was one of the participants at the Collaboration 2005 conference I attended in Australia. You can see the pics from that by clicking here.

Besides the water dragons begging for food there were magpies and crows doing the same. These animals are certainly not shy. Purple swamphens and dusky moorhens and their chicks are also abundant around the cafe area.

I took a late afternoon walk around the golf course to scope out the birds in the area. These are common residents - Pacific black duck, Eurasian coot and Dusky moorhen.

Wooohooo! A new species for my list - Wandering Whistling Duck.

There were hundreds of Purple Swamphen on the golf course.

Here's a better picture of a darter. I saw one the day before this one, but couldn't get a good picture of it. This species is in the genus Anhinga and I saw my first species at the Florida Woodturning symposium in January, 2007. I saw my first moorhens there, too.

I'd seen Galahs when I was in Australia in Oct 2005, but I wasn't listing my birds then. So, this counts as another new one for the list.

And another - a fig bird.

The kangaroos come out at dusk and go back to the brush at dawn. I saw quite a few out on the golf course on Thursday evening. They were a bit wary of me, but didn't hop away as I approached.

I gave them plenty of room, though. These seem to be pretty used to having humans around, but one shouldn't mess with wild animals.

One of the neat sights late in the afternoon or early in the morning is the various roosting organizations. You can see all sorts of birds settling in for the evening or waking up in the morning if you're at the right spot at the right time. This is a Royal spoonbill with Little Black cormorants, high up in a eucalyptus tree.

A comb-crested jacana. Their feet are so incredible to see. Look it up on the web - you'll see what I mean.

Silhouette of a willie wagtail.

A better view of one in the dusk.

Oh, cool! A coot tending a nest.

I came in from the dark to have a bite to eat. Many of the turners attending Turnfest had already started to arrive. David Drescher, the major sponsor and organizer of Turnfest, presented all the demonstrators with our brightly colored turning smocks.

Here's a picture before that presentation. L to R: Jen Mahoney, Guilio Marcolango, Mike Mahoney. There was a bit of confusion with regards to room assignments and earlier in the day I was surprised when Jen and Mike came into my hotel room. Sorry Mike, as much as I like you as a friend, I don't want to share a hotel room with you and your lovely wife. . . We got it sorted and I ended up sharing a room with Ellen McDermott from northern Queensland.

After dinner we had the demonstrator's meeting with David Drescher. We all piled into a small room for the briefing on rules, situations and such.

L to R: Terry Martin (Australia), Guilio Marcolango (Australia), Terry Scottm (New Zealand), and Christian Delhon (France).

L to R: Tony (Australia), David Drescher and Bill - co-conspirators and hard-working souls to make sure everything is right.

A room full of testosterone. . . Except for Liz Scobie, of course. I guess the Australian woodturning scene hasn't had a huge influx of influence from women. I was the only woman turner amongst the demonstrators. Liz did rotations on painting and free-form stitching. My demos were on turning, surface enhancement through texturing and pyrography as well as my coloring techniques.

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