Turning Archive 2005

Donald Derry's teaching

David Galloway
>The Georgia Association os Woodturners sponsored a weekend with Washington State's Donald Derry. I think our members came away with some new concepts as to how one turnd vessels. Don is a great teacher, inspirational in terms of thinking freshly, and at times provocative in an attempt to make one think.
He began with our regular chapter meeting on Thursday night demonstating the hollow turning of a Christmas ornament. Nothing fancy here except he used a roughing gouge for most of the spindle work and then an outrigged hollowing tool that he sells.
On Friday, five of us did a hand's on workshop about shape and form. Don was superb in getting us to think about the forms that are in our mind, and then progressing to the intention of making that form from a cylinder of wood. We practiced on spheres, eggs, pears, and footballs, all demonstrating a principle that he drills into his students to ask "where is the high spot?", that is where do I need to remove material next to progress in the shape I intend. By the end of the time, the five of us were natively asking that question as we sought our own shapes. One thing in particular that was helpful was a "group critique" of one another's forms. It was amazingly helpful not to mention demonstrating the power of colleagiality. There are some real possibilities here for the normal show and tell portions of club meetings.
Finally, on Saturday we had an all day demo with members from a lot of the surrounding clubs. Don demonstated his hollowing system which is quite impressive.
Don is teaching at the AAW symposium this summer as well as at Utah. If you get a shot, make that definite must see.
On top of being an excellent woodturner, he is also an good teacher and great guy.
David Galloway

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