Turning Archive 2004

Subject for demo LONG

Keith Tompkins
>I recently attended a major woodworking show in Saratoga,NY. The show included a juried competition, including cabinet work, chairs, carving, even canoes! Of course, woodturning.

As a trained, professional cabinetmaker, I enjoy the competition a great deal. I crawl under each piece, examining the most minute details. I like to understand the makers intent, from joint selection to overall execution, to the amount of imagination applied in a piece. I check for fatal flaws. I compare my winning choices to the judge's final decisions, just for fun.

It seems the same people win the top honors consistantly, year after year. This year, especially, there was a lot of grumbling and complaining, and there was even talk of eliminating the award process all together!

This gave me the idea for a new demonstration...."How to create an award-winning piece" The demo could apply to turnings or flat work, but only turning would apply in this forum.

I could bring good and bad forms to compare, and brave souls could bring their own pieces to be critiqued. I could stress the importance of ATTITUDE. The willingness to change and try new ideas.....the benefits of the critique.....learning from your mistakes...etc.

This demo would not be for the faint of heart. Blunt, to the point, no ambiguity in this one! A winning piece is produced long before the lathe is switched on. Personally, I don't start turning a piece and then see what evolves. I have a specific idea in mind from the beginning. When I create a piece, I'm striving to produce something better than anything else I've done, to push myself to the limit.

I know this sounds a bit arrogant, but it's not.This just my thought process. In fact, the whole demo would be designed to help others become sucessful turners.

Would you attend this type of talk? why or why not? I would like you input on this one. Thanks, Keith

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