Wednesday, July 23, 2008

2008 AAW Symposium - Part VIII - Sunday

Whew! Finally - the last day of the symposium was on June 22nd (so I'm only a month behind posting things. . . I guess I've been a very busy person this summer). I hope you've enjoyed reading about the symposium and seeing the pictures. Post a comment so I know you've been here!

Back to the instant gallery for a closer look at this interesting piece by Pascal Oudet. I saw an image of how he mounted this root burl on the lathe - it looked pretty darned scary to me, but the result is wonderful.

I wandered back into the trade show and finally had a chance to say hello to Jimmy Clewes.

Sunday tends to be for catching up on all the things one missed earlier in the schedule.

It's also a time for catching up with friends. Here's Harvey Fein (L) and Bill Smith (R) chatting in the upstairs lounge.

Knick McKay and his family were just coming out of one of the youth turning sessions and Knick had to show Harvey the CD top he had just made.

Between youth turning sessions on Sunday, John Wessels was invited to give a demonstration on turning ivory. Bonnie Klein had been announcing this impromptu session throughout the weekend and so there was a big crowd to watch the action.

John usually turns on a huge Wadkin lathe and so it's fun to watch him use this Jet minilathe.

It's amazing to see those huge hands hold such tiny tools and taking such delicate cuts. He had this piece of ivory in cast pewter to turn an acorn.

The pewter served as the material for the acorn cap.

John textured the cap using a rotary carver and a ball bur.

Bonnie is reacting to something John just said. You have to listen for those zingers sometimes - they sneak in at unexpected moments.

Here's the finished acorn prior to some patination of the pewter.

John used a chemical to change the pewter's characteristics.

A bit of buffing with steel wool. . .

Drilling a hole for the loop.

The drill bit broke off, but it would have been a dandy key chain.

John also demonstrated an acorn made from red ivory.

In the meantime, Bonnie was gearing up for the next youth turning session,

as were her able assistants.

John finished a beautiful red ivory acorn and everyone had a good time with this demo.

Afterwards, John met with Ray Leier from del Mano Gallery.

Watch for John's work to be in del Mano's Small Treasures show next year.

The Spheres exhibit auction took place on Sunday afternoon. The collectors were assembled to bid on these wonderful pieces.

There was a good sized crowd to bid on the 47 pieces in the show.

Most of the artists were also on hand to watch, including Jacques Vesery (on right), the chair of the POP committee, and J. Paul Fennell.

John Hill was the auctioneer, and he really liked working this crowd. The number of bidders was just right and he was able to really hold their attention and make it fun for everyone.

When Binh Pho's piece came up for auction, he was the one to bring it out to show it to the crowd. It brought a big price - $15K or thereabouts.

The was J. Paul Fennell's piece on the auction block and John was showing the details of the stand here.

I think you can tell by the faces of the bidders that they are having a very good time with John as the auctioneer.

John Wessels showed all the bells and whistles of his lovely piece.

This was my piece and it went to a very good home.

Interested participants watching the action.

I attended the final POP panel discussion. This was presented by Terry Martin, Kevin Wallace and John Kelsey. It was one of the best of the entire weekend - basically giving an overview of the history of woodturning as art in terms of myth and reality; hearsay and truth.

John brought several pieces to pass around, including this spalted maple vase done by Melvin Lindquist.

This bowl was made in Africa and had several maker's marks that were of interest.

The evening was for relaxing and enjoying the company of friends.

Bonnie Klein and Art Liestman

L to R: Gorst duPlessis, Pascal Oudet, Matthew Hill and Art Liestman.

It was a great symposium, and I'm looking forward to next year's one in Albuquerque. I'll be a demonstrator there, so come on and join the fun!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

2008 AAW Symposium - Part VII; AAW Banquet & Auction

The Saturday banquet is always fun to attend, especially when you can sit at a table with good friends. I sat at a table with J. Paul Fennell, Al Stirt, John Wessels, John Magill and his wife, Dale Larsen, Art Liestman, Bonnie Klein, and Jacques Vesery.

The live auction donations were lined up at the front of the banquet room and there was a lot of activity while people came up to get a better look.

Binh Pho did a collaboration with his daughter, and this was purchased by a collector and then given to Binh's daughter. That was pretty special.

The jewelry box on the right was made and donated by Fred Klap. The small box next to it was made and donated by Matthew Hill. I won the bid on it, and so now it is in my collection.

I'm not sure who made these items.

The collaboration by Bonnie Klein and Jacques Vesery. Check the Thursday night post for some close-up images.

Box on left by Dewey Garrett, the one on the right is a collaboration by Louise Hibbert and Sarah Parker Jones.

L: Dixie Biggs, R: Bill Tilson

Another collaboration by resident artists Louise Hibbert and Sarah Parker Jones. This was the piece they worked on during the symposium.

More donations. . .

ditto . . . .

The Orange Slice Special by Bernie Hrytzak - more on that later during this post.

Before the auction began, there are always a number of recognitions and awards to be made. Bonnie presented a small box to this lady, who has been very helpful during the youth turning program.

The major presentation of the evening is the Lifetime Achievement award. This year's recipient was Albert LeCoff, and his brother made the introduction, which was a surprise to Albert.

The introduction went on for quite a while, and so Jacques got up to serve coffee to everyone at our table.

Albert eventually made his way to the stage to receive his award.

Albert's acceptance speech.

Bill Haskell giving some award or another.

I think this was the drawing for the lathe raffle, which was a benefit for Phil Brennion.

The Auction is always the big event at the Saturday banquet. John Hill was our auctioneer, assisted by Nick Cook.

The crowd is so large that it is necessary to have a team of spotters. They're the ones in bright yellow hats.

Rob Wallace is a colleague of mine from academia, and he volunteered his auction skills to serve as a spotter. Way to go, Rob!

This was Bonnie Klein's reaction after her collaboration with Jacques Vesery was auctioned off. It went for $11,500, which must have made them feel pretty satisfied about the project.

Jacques and Bonnie, congratulating one another.

Smile for the camera.

The other big story, at least from my perspective, of the auction was the orange fiddle made by Bernie Hrytzak. He had arranged for a 12 year old boy to play it during the mixer before the banquet, but the connection never happened. When the fiddle came up for auction, John Hill had made an announcement to that effect. The bidding started out pretty low. John Wessels prodded me into going and playing that fiddle to raise the bid price, so I went back stage and borrowed the fiddle. Then I took it up to the auction stage, tuned a bit and played a bit of "Paddy's Return," one of my favorite Irish jigs. The audience was very responsive, to say the least, and the bidding resumed with more enthusiasm.

After the bidding ended my good friend Harvey Fein came over to my table to ask me how I liked the fiddle. I told him I couldn't really tell because it was out of tune and there wasn't any rosin on the bow. He said I'd have to tell him about it after I had a chance to play it some more. I asked him what he was talking about, and he told me he won the bid and was giving the fiddle to me. We had a good laugh about it because we both figured it would be a great gag to use during my Aisling gigs.

About that time, Bernie came over to thank me for playing the fiddle during the auction. I introduced him to Harvey and we organized to go get a group picture done. Paul Fennell agreed to shoot the picture for us. So we all went over to the purchase area to wait for Harvey to complete the transaction. I then opened the case, took out the fiddle, tuned it a bit, rosined the bow, and was getting ready to play a tune during our photo op. Right about then, Knick McKay came up with his mom and told us that he was the one who was supposed to have played during the mixer. He also told us how much he had wanted his mom to win the bid on the fiddle and that he really, really liked it.

I handed Knick the fiddle and asked him to play for us. Well, play he did and it was such a joy to listen to him and watch his face. He played very well, and I just kept thinking to myself that this boy should be the one to take home the fiddle.

Harvey was standing right behind Knick while he played, and he felt a surge of energy coming from Knick. We made eye contact and Harvey made an unspoken query. I smiled and nodded, "yes!"

When Knick finished playing Harvey asked him if liked the fiddle. Knick replied, "I love it!"

Harvey then told him it was his to have. Knick couldn't believe it and it took a bit of convincing that Harvey really meant it and that the fiddle would be going home with him.

Knick's reaction was obvious here, and Harvey's joy is also apparent in this photo.

It was truly a special moment, and one that I am so glad to have had a part in.

Here's the group photo. L to R: yours truly, Bernie Hrytzak, Knick McKay, Harvey Fein.

More information on this special moment will be in the next issue of American Woodturner.