Sunday afternoon I finally dragged myself to my first woodturning club meeting. The Glendale Woodturners Guild meets monthly only about 20 minutes from my house, but until now I'd never made it to a meeting. I was probably the third youngest guy there. Nice bunch of guys, and I ended up bringing home several chunks of wood as a result of the raffle.
I didn't realize it until I got to the meeting, but Bill Haskell (recently-resigned AAW National President) is a member of the Glendale club. He wasn't at the meeting, but the club President did mention the brouhaha in the AAW. Another member whose name I recognized from the AAW site was Robert Manning. Seemed like a nice guy, and he's done some nice work.
The demonstration was on carving diminishing spirals on tapered spindles. It was interesting, and I picked up a few tricks that could be applied to other types of turnings. Next month is an all-day session with Eli Avisera, then in September is a day with David Ellsworth. Trying to decide whether to go to either of these, but I may end up going to both. (I'd like to meet Eli and swap lies about Stu.)
Part of the reason I went to this month's meeting was because I noticed on their website they were having a hollow form challenge. Hey! I know how to make those. Turns out they have Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert classes in their challenges, and new members are always in the Beginner class until they win a challenge. After the first win, they get moved up to Intermediate, and if they win two more challenges, they're in the Expert class. I brought a Michigan chocolate crotch hollow form with a finial, and the big NE ash hollow form I showed here a while back. Looks like I'll be in the Intermediate class next time...I got the $25 Craft Supplies gift certificate for winning the Beginner class with the ash HF. There were some other nice pieces, but I've had some Internet schooling from a few good friends. I had a number of folks ask if I was a pro turner. Man, do I have people fooled.
All in all it was a fun meeting, and I expect to start going more regularly now.