Over the past forty-five years, David Ellsworth has become known as one of the premier designers of turned wooden vessel forms. His work is included in the permanent collections of forty-four museums and numerous private collections. He is a Fellow and former Trustee of the American Craft Council and has received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, and the PEW Fellowship for the Arts.
In 2009 he was elected by the James A. Renwick Alliance of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to receive the prestigious “Master of the Medium” award in wood. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime Membership Award from the American Association of Woodturners, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Collectors of Wood Art. In 2021 he received the Prestigious Visionary Award from the Smithsonian Institution. He runs his own private school of woodturning at his home and studio near Weaverville, North Carolina.
As my aesthetic in vessel making has evolved over the decades, I have tried to maintain a delicate balance between what the material brings to me and what I can bring to the material. It is clearly an interactive process, often a balance between working with unique materials to literally stumbling on a rotten old stump that becomes the inspiration for a whole new direction in my work.
My “Spirit Forms” are designed to capture the energy of the observer, to draw them into the interior, and to hold them within the privacy of an imagined space. As the potter, Paul Soldner once said, “Never underestimate the power of small objects.”
Working from green wood has always been my passion. This demonstration will cover all the highlights of mounting a half log, adjusting the position between centers to maximum the exposure and direction of the grain, rough cutting the form, slicing the fibers to refine the design, shear-scraping the surface to gain a 220 grit surface prior to sanding, and reverse chucking the form on a home-made jam chuck to finish the base.
This will be an exercise in how to manipulate the form in order to maximize the drama of the design. Included will be manipulating the form to get the best design from the half log, roughing out and refining the exterior shape using slicing and shear-scraping cuts, then roughing out the interior prior to managing a delicate interior finishing cut using the “wrong” side of the gouge.
This demonstration will focus on manipulating the log in order to adjust the grain direction to accentuate the design patterns of the form. I will use my Signature gouge in many different directions, including backward slicing and shear-scraping cuts to refine the exterior. This will be followed by using my home-made hollowing tools to gut and refine the interior. And finally, reverse the form using a jam chuck to finish off the base.
Graeme Priddle has over 20 years experience in the woodworking field, best known for his sculptural turnings/carvings reflecting his life and environments in Northland, New Zealand. He has won numerous awards for his work, which has been exhibited widely in New Zealand, UK, Japan, Taiwan, France, Germany, U.S.A and Canada.
He is very active in the wood turning world and commits his time and talent to many creative endeavours. He has served on the committee of the New Zealand National Association of Woodturners for five years as well as being instrumental in establishing the New Zealand ‘CollaboratioNZ’ Conferences in 1998.
Graeme has demonstrated and taught for numerous woodworking and woodturning groups and at many woodworking events throughout the world.
Graeme was born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1960. He moved to Northland in 1986 while working for Telecom as a radio technician. He took voluntary severance in 1989 after twelve years service and started woodturning in 1990.
He now lives and works on a 100 acre bush block 30km North-East of Whangarei.
Melissa Engler is a woodworker/sculptor based in Asheville, NC. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and is a graduate of the Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program in furniture. Melissa’s work has been featured in Carolina Home + Garden, WNC Magazine, Woodwork Magazine and American Craft and is held in private collections across the US. She teaches nationally and internationally with her partner and fellow wood-sculptor Graeme Priddle.
Graeme and Melissa currently work at Grovewood Studios in Asheville and are represented by Grovewood Gallery (NC), Penland Gallery (NC), Green Hill Center for Art (NC), and The Gallery at Flat Rock (NC)
Graeme and Melissa will also be holding a 2-day workshop after the symposium – details here.
Presents a myriad of embellishment possibilities with rotary carvers and other carving tools.
Covers design and influences, personalizing your work.
Tool selection, sharpening and safety. Wood selection. Rotary/hand carving and texturing techniques. Colouring and finishing.
Presents a myriad of surface treatments and embellishment possibilities with woodburners.
Covers design and influences, personalizing your work.
Equipment selection, use and safety. Wood selection. Designing and making your own burner tips/brands. Woodburning techniques/surface branding. Colouring and finishing.
This demonstration will cover the design and influences behind these bowls. We will discuss wood selection, preparation and drying. Then go on to basic bowl turning techniques, tool selection, sharpening and safety.
Then we will cover low relief carving and surface embellishment with rotary tools and wood burners, and coloring with acrylic paint, milk paint and paste wax application.
Time permitting, we will talk about other designs and surface techniques and show how we execute them.
Keith Gotschall has been involved in working with wood since a very early age, even before leaving high school. Over the years he has worked as a cabinet maker, furniture designer/maker, carpenter, graphic artist, stone sculptor and wood turner. He has demonstrated at national symposiums, internationally, and at scores of clubs around the US. He is noted for clear descriptions of his traditional turning technique.
With his background in fine art, and a love of the truly utilitarian, Keith’s work can be noted for it’s clean lines, smooth curves and tight detail. Sometimes whimsical, often classical, Keith enjoys working in a broad oeuvre and is hard to pigeonhole
First, what is a tortilla warmer? Well it’s nothing you plug in, it is a simple container to hold pre-warmed tortillas, crepes, pancakes etc. so that they retain some of their heat and delectability!
It is in essence a large lidded bowl.
This is a great intermediate project for anyone to tackle.
I will go through the entire project from start to finish, with all the steps clearly shown and explained. Starting with a quick shop tour, the demo moves on to planning the project, wood selection, the tools used and how I sharpen them, basic steps to start off and roughing in the basic form of the top. Making the rest of the project is the bulk of the demo, but along the way there are lots of tips and close up video of how the tools are being used. 3 different tools and methods of work are shown during the hollowing out of the interior, and the spindle gouge is used to great effect in making the fine details of the knob. With all that finished, I go into a method of decoration that is so simple and easy to do that anyone who is hesitant about trying will be convinced that it is worth giving it a shot. I don’t hesitate to show mistakes so we all learn from them, and in the end a short look at the end product will allow some critique of design and overall shape.
In this demo the basics of platter making will be shown, as well as the special considerations for going off center. Safety, of course, will be a primary factor in making this project. By using the 4 jaw chuck as a screw chuck and in the expansion mode, an easy way to make this platter with an uneven rim will be shown. Design considerations will be discussed with the audience, and feedback will be encouraged. This is a fun demo that should spark some new ideas of your own.
In the demo, different possibilities will be discussed, what slight changes will produce in the end result. Difficulties in turning off center will be explained, and how correct technique can minimize these aspects. Also, along the way, how to cut clean beads in a cross grain orientation will be shown, and what details work, and which don’t work as well. Decorating the off center rim will be shown and other possibilities discussed.
In this demo I lay out the basic stool seat and show how to drill at the appropriate angles. I then turn the seat using a 4 jaw chuck. I then show how to lay out a leg using the minimum of measuring tools and explain how I go about replication. Demonstrating beads, coves and straight cuts to make a simple pattern, I then show how easily it can be replicated quickly and accurately.
The audience will learn elements of design that will make replicating the legs of the stool very easy. Discussion of design will also show how to avoid common pitfalls, and ways around possible flaws. Techniques shown are simple, but effective in both spindle turning and bowl turning. Discussion with the audience will cover critique, furniture styles, possible options for further exploration and wood selection.
I’ve been working with wood since I was a teenager in Cincinnati. I attended the University of Cincinnati where I received a BFA in Theater Design and Production. Upon graduating I took a woodturning class at Arrowmont and realized I was hooked on the process. I currently live and work in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Saluda, NC. The focus of my work over the years has been functional and decorative bowls and vessels. Much of the inspiration for my work comes from my interest in African and Oceanic art as well as modern painting and ceramic design. Consequently much of my work is embellished with patterns that are carved, engraved and burned into the work. I also use milk paints to emphasize these patterns.
I teach woodturning around the country at craft schools and woodturning clubs. My work can be found in many public collections including the Museum of Art & Design, The Center for Art in Wood and the Yale Art Gallery.
Mark will also be holding a 2-day workshop after the symposium – details here.
Hollow forms turned through a small opening were always a challenge for me to turn. In this demo I’ll show how I make hollow forms, using green wood, much like you make lidded boxes only I’ll glue the lid back on. Not only is there less risk of turning through the side of your vessel but it is also easier to gauge the wall thickness as well as remove the shavings from the inside. I’ll focus on techniques for making a precise joint to help insure that the piece stays together as it dries. Time will be spent demonstrating various ways to then hide the seem in your vessel. This vessel will also have handles.
I will demonstrate all the various techniques and methods I use for embellishing my work. I’ll start by showing how I layout geometric patterns on my turned vessels. Some of the techniques I will cover include, carving with hand and power tools, engraving, and even some textures done on the lathe. I’ll show how I use milk paints and dyes to enhance the carved patterns and lastly how I sharpen my carving tools using a simple homemade MDF strop.
A shrink box is a container that is made from green wood with a bottom that is a dry disk of wood that is fit into a groove in the base of the box. The green wood box shrinks as it dries locking the bottom in place. Traditionally these were hand carved. I’ll demonstrate how to turn the box, cut the groove and carve and shape the bottom to achieve a good tight fit. Typically turned wood boxes are made from dry wood, I like this technique as it is a way to make lidded containers but still use green wood.
Born in Mayenne (France) in 1974
I have always been attracted by wood and all the creative possibilities it offers. During long studies without any conviction, I have participated in evening sculpture courses. But I came to the lathe and decided to learn the trade of woodturner (with passion, this time). Above all, I have discovered the various aspects of woodturning – traditional, utilitarian production, and creation. I have been directly attracted by this diversity.
My thanks to Jean-François ESCOULEN and AFTAB (French association for artistic woodturning) where I could learn with many international and French professionals. Every year, I participate in professional courses.
I created my workshop in 2002. During the first 10 years, I have been a craftsman woodturner sharing my activity between turning by orders for cabinet makers, production, and creation – work that requires great precision and the others that allow me to go in a more personal imaginary.
I also love teaching and demonstrating and, in 2014, I moved to Aiguines (Provence) to join the Escoulen school teaching team. Today « teaching by doing » at the school has become a parttime activity.
For the rest, I am working alone in my workshop. Last years, my research has focused on turning green fig tree. I am fascinating by the spectacular distorsions that come during drying. So I play.
Demonstrating has given me the opportunity to travel since 2005 (Spain, England, Ireland, USA, Quebec, and more) and it’s one of the most beautiful things that happened to me.
Key points :
- Bowl design -“Rope” texture -Production methods
- Which tool and sharpening for a good surface and to control the form -Criticize a bowl (curve, shape, balance, proportion, use…)
- Add the “rope” texture by keeping the shape
- Add the “rope” texture to contrast with clean wood surface
- How to finish the base on a wood chuck
Key points :
- Box making, design and proportion -Fine scratch texture with iron brush
- Ring inlay
- Raindrop shape
- Back hollowing end grain technique
- How to inlay a ring to create a contrast
- Which tool and sharpening for a good surface and to control the form
- One simple way to create elegant texture with iron brush
Rope the bevel that’s good, slicing on wood it’s better! With the skew, the spindle gouge, the scraper or the bedan, let’s try the slicing angle for a good surface without sanding and nice shavings. It also enable us to turn thinner by reducing the pressure on wood.
We will see the different applications for traditional spindle work.
Key points :
- Difference between bad scraping, cutting by roping the bevel and a good cut with the slicing angle
- Why giving an inclination to the bevel give a better cut, less pressure on the wood and less vibrations
- How to reduce sanding with standard tools (spindle gouge, skew chisel, bedan, bowl gouge and scraper)
- demonstration of a good cut with a hand planer and chisel
- how to turn a thin handle spatula with the skew chisel from a small planed board
- why using long edge sharpening and how to sharpen it (spindle gouge and bowl gouge)
- how to get a nice surface on the outside of a bowl (spindle gouge, bowl gouge)
- how to get the slicing angle to improve the cut with the scraper
- turning a small traditional leg with the bedan and the spindle gouge (how to get a complete shape, continuity, connect the bead with the cove, be confident with our eye…)
The idea should come from a very common activity near the river where I live.
To demonstrate this multi-storey box, I will use different techniques : eccentric chuck, small hollowing featuring a tiny opening, carving and texturing.
This is a piece coming from far away.
I will explain and demonstrate the different steps. But before I would like to illustrate the progress of this creation. So, starting from drawings, try and mistakes, I will present a short slide show. Of course, we will mostly speak about curve and I will talk about this story.
Hi my name is Laurent Niclot, I am originally from Toulon in the south of France, but am currently living and working in Fort Collins, Colorado USA. I have always loved wood, so it was only natural for me to study woodworking, woodcarving, cabinet making, furniture making, and design. I discovered woodturning from Jean-François Escoulen, and I knew it was how I wanted to make a living. So, in 2015, at age 20, I took the six-month woodturning class at the Escoulen School in Aiguines, France, with Jean-François and Yann Marot. Then, the school hired me as an assistant and translator for 3 years, gave me a studio and a lathe to practice my passion, and the possibility to meet many other artists and woodturners who now inspire my work. I have had the opportunity to share my passion and teach woodturning to those in France, Belgium, Canada and all over the United States. I enjoy demonstrating (both remote and in-person), teaching short one-day through week long classes, and continuing to explore my own artistic practice. My current work ranges from traditional woodturning to woodburning, carving, multi-axis, coloring and texturing.
In this demo, we will be turning and hollowing several miniature hollow forms (varying in size and shape) using my signature Niclot Mini Hollowers. I will use different tools for the outside shape focusing on getting a nice cut. We will talk about how to gauge the thickness and I will give the audience the opportunity to choose from a variety of textures to add another element to the form.
Roughing out and turning of a perfect sphere between centers and remounting for the finishing using a jam chuck made out of green wood. Hollowing the sphere using small hollowing tools in a homemade chuck for a precise and safe method of hollowing. The sphere is a very pure shape but is also one of the most complicated. It is a great canvas for carving and texturing as well as a pleasant shape that will put forward the beauty of the wood grain.
Turning of a miniature teapot (approximately an inch) using the bedan and demonstration on how to use it with the bevel up for spindle turning, hollowing of the teapot with miniature hollowing tools. Then turning of the lid and the spout (magnifiers not included) and coloring using Indian ink and gilding wax to create the Damascus steel effect. Finally, demonstration on how the make the handle using a wire and a cotton string on the lathe.