Turning Intensive 2018

Written by Heide Martin on .

Our 2018 Turning Intensive class just wrapped up today, and students are sweeping the studio and packing away their tools and projects. There is always a bittersweet sense of accomplishment at the end of our Intensive courses – so much was learned, and now there is so much to do! This group of turners was very prolific over the eight weeks of their course, and they are heading home with not only new skills and experience, but a beautiful collection of colorful turned tools, stools, vessels, and spindles.

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Lead instructor Beth Ireland guided the class throughout the entire program, and was joined by guest instructors Mark Gardner and Al Stirt for portions of the curriculum.

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Students moved from learning spindle and offset turning with Beth in the first three weeks, to greenwood bowls and vessels with Mark in weeks four and five. Below, students show off the stools they built as an exploration of spindle and platter turning in the early part of the course.

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Staff Instructor Mason McBrien worked with Beth Ireland to teach basic machine skills and safety in the early part of the course. Students also learned how to turn custom hand tools, and to properly sharpen their tools. Chainsaw safety is later emphasized as a part of greenwood turning. Below, student Brendan Yi-Fu Tay gets chainsaw tips from instructor Mark Gardner.

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After Mark Garner’s visit, Beth Ireland worked with the students on segmented turning. After learning the basics, students were free to explore with this technique. Below, student Shawn Magar shows off his turned segmented form, along with a scale model of a larger sculpture he plans to build later in his home shop.

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Al Stirt joined Beth Ireland for a week of surface decoration and square platter turning. It was a pleasure to see the directions that students took with these projects, and the variety of effects that can be achieved with a few basic techniques.

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Despite the rigorous schedule and long hours spent in the shop, students somehow managed to find time for creative, exploratory projects.

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Below, portraits of each of the students with a selection of the work they made over eight weeks, as photographed by Beth Ireland.

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When Beth is around, there is always time for a potluck! As Beth always says, every turner should know how to smoke their own meat…

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