A Visit to the Woodturning Studio

As if it weren’t already hard enough to choose which classes I’d like to take, here’s something that makes it harder: studio visits.  Anytime there are classes going on, anyone can go into the studios to see what’s happening.  If you happen to find yourself in Brasstown, NC (though this is not a place one usually “happens upon”), you can wander from studio to studio watching the students work and asking all the questions you want.

So today I took a stroll over to the woodturning studio – not to be confused with the woodworking studio nor the woodcarving studio.  What’s the difference?  Well, as far as I can tell the woodcarvers do just that – take a sharp object to a piece of wood and carve something – freehand.  This week, it’s caricatures.  The woodturners use big machines (think of the lathes from junior high woodshop) and they take sharp objects to a spinning piece of wood.  The wood workers: well, this week they’re making Shaker boxes.  I have yet to learn how to describe what it is that goes on in there.

So here’s my pictorial on taking a block of wood and turning it into a bowl.  As you’ll see, these instructions are by no means definitive, but they’re what you can learn if you spend a half-hour in the studio:)  This is also how a woodturning class got added to my list of possibilities…

Step 1: Head over to the woodturning studio (just a short walk from where I live).

Step 2: Listen to the guy on the right. He's the instructor and has the deepest, calmest voice you will ever hear.


Step 3: Pick up a block of wood.

Step 4: Affix your block to one of these machines.

Step 5: You may want to sharpen your blade.

Step 6: Work on the outside of the bowl first.

Step 7: Then start on the inside

Step 8: Continue working on the inside

Next, they’ll take them off the machine, cut off the bottom projection, then do something to make them pretty (stain? I’m really not sure.)  I’ll see them all finished at the Show and Tell on Friday:)

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