Wednesday, June 27, 2012

New Lathes! Thank you AAW!

Shrieking in the title may seem a little excessive but we are deeply thankful to the American Association of Woodturners for a second Education Opportunities Grant. 

We've used both grants to invest in buying lathes and we've just added three more lathes. Two 10" and one 12" mini lathes. We now have seven lathes. We've been given some big architectural turning lathes too but we're waiting for a larger facility before we bring those on-line.

The new lathes will be christened in Bonnie Klein's woodturning classes this fall. Bonnie is with us for seven days, teaching her signature topics (spindle turning and lidded boxes) in the Intermediate Turning class (September 10-14, 2012) . This is the first non-beginner's class Bonnie has taught at the School and we're looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new faces.

Bonnie will also be teaching her Beginning Bowl Turning on September 15-16, 2012 - a fabulous class to get started in turning. No experience necessary - just enthusiasm.

Rafter Tail Table with Darrell Peart

Darrell Peart is teaching his new Rafter Tail Table class at the School this week (6/25-6/29, 2012). Most of the students are making a couple of tables and will have the templates to make more when the go home at the end of the week.

Everyone seems to be really enjoying themselves. Darrell's excellent preparation of stock and thoughtfully designed jigs makes the setup and running of this class straightforward. The progress is impressive.

If you are in Port Townsend this week feel free to stop by and say hello to Darrell and the class. If you're not able to make it here - enjoy the slideshow. We're adding more pictures each day.

On Friday, as with all our weeklong classes, we hold a potluck lunch at noon. It's open to everyone - feel free to come along. Salads from the Coop or bread from Pane D'Amore are always welcome. Home cooking scores big brownie points!

Late update: we're going to the Banana leaf downtown instead of doing the potluck at the School. Join us there.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Introduction to Mask Carving - June 2012 with Steve Brown

Mitch and Mike left a little early and missed being in the Class photo.

Small class size is a mixed blessing but what a gift for the students in this class! Everyone got a lot of personal tuition from Steve and made significant progress - Steve was very impressed.

Watching Steve carve is a real joy - an amazing combination of delicacy, precision and power. I stopped by several times during each course and the evolution and refinement of each design was clear at each step and the increased confidence with the tools. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished masks.

We're running a longer version of this class in August - you should be able to complete the carving and decorate the mask in that class. It'll be exciting to see the refinement and clear definition of the form lines in those masks. There is still space in the class.

Short slide show of the class - Images by Chris Artman and Tim Lawson:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Centennial Rhododendron Garden at Fort Worden

The Centennial Rhododendron Garden at Fort Worden is one of those real gems that only shines brightly for the late winter and  spring months each year. Last Sunday on my way to the School I purposely left myself fifteen minutes to go and take some pictures. I chose fifteen minutes to force myself to focus on composition and exposure - a little hit and miss but here is the slide show of those images.

If you are visiting Fort Worden in the Spring I encourage to take 15 minutes (or more) to explore the Garden. There are some 1200 (I think) different species and hybrids. They start flowering in late February and are still going strong in June. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Green Woodworking with the WCC - June 2012

It's always a delight to have the WCC crews as part of their training session in June. This year we offered a Green Woodworking class - making a three legged stool starting with a tree.

The School has an agreement State Parks to use trees that have to be felled as "emergency trees". These are trees that pose a potential hazard to people on the trails and at campsites. For this course we started with two good sized Douglas Fir logs and this crew sawed, hewed and rived to make blanks for the legs and stretchers.We used a couple of fir board that we'd sawn out of logs earlier in the year.

This class had a lot of fun and worked really hard to complete the stools in the four day class. I hope the big grins come across well in the slideshow.