June 2015 Demo
“Lil bit about everything.”
I have been an avid woodturner for 60 years, beginning in Colorado City, TX high school. I took an interest in the lathe to my shop teacher’s delight. He was an avid turner and was eager to pass his considerable knowledge on. This was the days before “free form” turning was conceived so I was trained in the “English/Conventional” craft which had strict rules for every aspect of turning, developed over hundreds of years,. The craftsman did NOT deviate from this narrow path. Most turnings were related to furniture, lamp bases and sometimes a simple functional bowl. I enjoyed lathe work and made a multitude of chairs, tables, beds and other turnings; all following the highly restrictive, exacting method of the day.
My older brother, Gary, invited me to a weekend gathering of a few turners, 15 or so guys. Clay Foster, David Ellsworth and a few others were doing something unheard of; freeform, artistic turning. These few artisans were happy to show the rest of us radical new techniques, designs, vessel shapes and types. Mostly they taught us to think about our craft in different ways, freeing our minds.
This meeting was at the beginning of the formation of the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF WOODTURNERS. Little did any of know this would lead the formation local clubs in every state, regional and national symposiums, a movement leading to more than 7000 turners and a respected art form.
I enthusiastically adopted this new freeform method of turning/thinking. I now rarely use kiln dried wood. I enjoy using found woods. I salvage wood from fireplace piles, disposal yards, arborist, road side piles, and development sites; anywhere wood being discarded. I take great joy in transforming found wood into a vessel displaying unusual grain patterns. Or taking decaying (splatted) wood and exposing the wonderful patterns nature has produced. Frequently a discarded, ugly wood chunk will be beautiful inside. One never knows what lies inside a piece of wood. The challenge to the Turner is to reflect the wood in its best form and beauty. The dead cast off, unwanted and otherwise useless wood, is given new form, new life and desirability. The process has given me tranquility, reflection, self-satisfaction and joy. Hopefully the finished vessel holds something special for the new owner. Often I am ask; “What do you put in it?” My response is simply; I have put a lot of love into it, you put whatever you want to.
LARRY D. ROBERTS
Next Meeting -June 25th, 2015
MEETING LOCATION AND TIME
The chapter meets on the last Thursday evening of each month from 6:30 - 9:00 PM at the Handley-Meadowbrook Lions Club, 6013 Craig Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76112.
Visitors and guests are always welcome to attend our meetings. The Handley-Meadowbrook Lions Club is about 1.5 miles south of I-30 on I-820 S. exit Craig Street (Exit 30a).
MONTHLY PRESIDENT'S NOTES
- Welcome to our new members: Bob Kesler, David Walker and returning members Mike Jones and Flip Richardson.
- Bob Wiggins will not be at the meeting this week but be assured that John Lauderbaugh will be recognizing your June Challenge... a stemmed goblet. John will also be announcing our July challenge.
- Those at our last meeting heard Craig's fine presentation on Beads of Courage boxes. I sent out an email to all members with SWAT's new position on the program. Though there will not be any judging or awards at SWAT, you have something better, the satisfaction of having provided a means of happiness to a very ill child and your own peer recognition. You will still receive three WNT Challenge raffle tickets for each vessel turned. Remember, you need to bring your boxes to the July meeting for show and tell. If you are not going to SWAT then leave them with Ray Moyer for transport to Waco.
- We only had 8 bowls for Empty Bowls brought in last month. There has only been 8 turners make any bowls and 6 of the bowl a month members have not turned in a single one. Come on people, you can do a lot better than that. Remember you get one Christmas dinner raffle ticket for each bowl turned during the year.
- I know it is getting hot in non-air-conditioned shops but please try to keep up with the three ongoing club activities as they are not only some of our community outreach, but provide excellent training and practice.
- See you at 6:30pm Thursday and be safe. We don't need a "safety coordinator".
The mission of the Woodturners of North Texas is to advance the creative pursuit of woodturning through educational programs, practical demonstrations and community service projects. Personal achievement is encouraged through mentoring, design challenges and member participation.