Turning Archive 2006

Random thoughts on AAW symposium

Keith Tompkins
>After a few days to catch my breath, here are some of my thoughts concerning the symposium:

1.Instant gallery. There was some tremendous work this year. I overheard one "bigname" turner remark.."not many turned dog dishes this year!". Many turnings were highly decorated or carved (as usual), but the shapes and forms were very, very good. Much better than in previous years. The finishes were also very good. I mentioned in the chat that my favorite piece was Chris Ramsay's walnut nat. edge bowl. Beautiful shape, contrast between the sapwood and heartwood was great, and the bark,which contained voids, seemed to bridge the negative spaces in the piece. It was fairly large, yet it was obvious how much effort went into the details. Maybe someone can post a pic of this piece for discussion. Why they chose NOT to critique this piece is beyond me.

2. Demos: I think demonstrators at the national level really need to put a lot of effort into the presentations, especially subject matter. Tool handling, sharpening, etc. are better covered at smaller venues, esp. at the local club level...where the audience can SEE and participate. I think the demos at the AAW should be something special; something to savor for a long time. I despise long, boring slide presentations. I prefer talks that inspire me to try harder.

3. Nightlife: A good way to learn about the demos the easy way. Many turners sit around at the bar after hours, the topic is often what demos they attended, and plan to attend the next day. You may hear "So and so was great.. do NOT miss it!". Sometimes the demo you are dying to see gets terrible reviews. You can really see the results of a demo the following day...the better demos are packed!

4. Meeting people...I love meeting new friends, and seeing old ones again. I met a guy from KY who makes banjos. He does custom inlay work for Gibson! We really hit it off while standing in line at Packard's booth, and exchanged addresses, etc. That was a little bonus. The symposium is also a great way to make contacts for new demos, etc.

5. The crowd. I usually hate crowds. This year, it didn't bother me. You could feel the excitement in the air. Everyone was rushing to the next demo a little quicker than usual.Lots of impromtu demos, etc. It was fun just to watch everyone in the hallways.

Anybody else have a few comments?

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