Monday, September 28, 2009

About The AAW

The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) was founded in 1986. It is an educational organization dedicated to the promotion of woodturning. From our bylaws: "The Association's purpose is to foster a wider understanding and appreciation of lathe-turning as a traditional and contemporary craft and a form of art among the general public, amateur turners, part-time turners and professional turners."

The AAW provides a basis for woodturners from around the United States and the world to get together, support each other and to learn from each other in all areas related to woodturning. Currently the AAW has over 13,000 members in over 315 chapters all over the world. Each chapter is an independent, locally run organization. Local members typically meet once a month to watch demonstrations of woodturning and related subjects.

A growing part of AAW is the regional symposiums where several chapters will put on a multiple day seminar covering all areas of woodturning. The AAW puts on an annual symposium each year rotating around the United States. They try to plan the symposiums so that every five years a member can drive to the symposium.

These symposiums bring in demonstrators from all over the world. Typically, there are 15 classrooms with different demonstrations going on for three days. There are related art shows of turned art. There is a huge Instant Gallery where each member can put three turned items for show or sale. The symposium has the largest woodturning vendor show in the world where all kinds of lathes, wood and related equipment is for demonstration and sale.

The AAW is a big supporter of education and we have a youth turning room where classes go on during the symposium. At the end, all the kids that took a turning class have their names are put into a hat and 25 lathes, chucks, tools and face shields are given to the winning kids.

The members of AAW are not a physical community but they are a community related by a common love of turning. While the name is the American Association of Woodturners, anything that can be stuck on a lathe gets turned. It is generally wood, but fiber, plastic, stone, bone, and pinecones are turned, and I have seen fruits and vegetables turned. There are also special interest groups within AAW that cover such topics as ornamental turning, segmented turning and collecting.

The AAW has a great journal that has articles covering a wide range of topics from beginning turning to advanced art work. Each year at the annual symposium we have an auction of turned art. The proceeds from the auction go the Educational Opportunity Grant program. In 2009 AAW handed out about $60,000 to individuals, schools and chapters for programs related to woodturning.

You can learn more about the American Association of Woodturners and its programs by going to Here you will find out how to join and other information about AAW.
-Dale Larson

Dale is on the Board of Directors for the AAW. More about Dale can be found in his gallery-

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fine Wood Artists Slide Show

A short overview of some of the great work featured on

Brenda Behrens Showing this October

Fine Wood Artists member Brenda Behrens will be showing every weekend in October at the Windmill Farms Pumpkin Festival in Chino Valley, AZ.

The show runs Saturday and Sundays 9 am. to 5 pm.

See More at the Windmill Farms Pumpkin Festival website

More of Brenda's work can be seen on her gallery

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP James Krenov

Fine Wood Artists joins the many who mourn the passing of the Fine Woodworking master James Krenov, who passed away last week at the age of 88. James influenced many aspiring woodworkers through his years teaching at the Fine Woodworking Program at the College of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, California.

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.

His family requests that donations be made in his memory to the James Krenov Scholarship Fund, care of the College of the Redwoods. Contact (707)962-2663.

The College of the Redwoods website:

James Krenov's offial website:

"Live the life that you want to live. Don’t be unhappy in your work."- James Krenov

Monday, September 14, 2009

Best In Show

Fine Wood Artist Andrew Pitts had his incredible cabinet "Shadows of Night" win Best In Show over the Labor Day weekend at the 48th Annual Art Exhibit of the Rappahannock Art League. Congratulations Andy!

See more of Andrew's Fine Wood furniture in his gallery

and his website

Monday, September 7, 2009

Interview with Brenda Behrens

Arizona artist Brenda Behrens combines wood turning and wood carving in many of her works including "the Ballet of the Leaves" in Carob wood shown above. Her favorite wood to work with is Myrtle wood.

"I have always enjoyed Myrtle Wood from the earliest that I can remember and that is back more years than I can remember." She says. "The process that I use to develop each carved piece begins with a wet chunk of Myrtle, turn it and then the carving begins with the traditional hand carving tools. Wet wood carves easier than dry and the Myrtle works well using this technique as it is a very stable wood, holds detail well and dries to a beautiful color."

Brenda is not afraid to take chances with her work, which often are labor intensive because of the amount of carving involved. She considers "Love of Nature" in Myrtle wood to be her most challenging piece, and the one she is most proud of.

"This piece is entirely hand sculpted using traditional hand carving tools and this made the work time extensive and consuming, however it was very satisfying." She says.

Not a woman of many words, she prefers to speak with her carving tools.

More of Brenda's work can be seen in her gallery at this link.