A couple of major woodturning get-togethers take place in May and June of this year. They are the places to be if you have any interest in turning and a desire to learn unique techniques from some of the best in the business.
Utah Woodturning Symposium
First up is the Utah Woodturning Symposium, which is held May 12th to 14th at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. This is the oldest woodturning event of its kind in the U.S. Dale Nish, one of the foremost turners and teachers of his generation, initiated the symposium in 1979. Today, it’s three days of nonstop turning demonstrations, an instant gallery where attendees can display and sell their own turnings and a silent auction to benefit the symposium’s scholarship fund.
In 2016, demonstrators include Australian Richard Raffan, one of the world’s best turners; Mike Mahoney, who claims to make more bowls than anyone else on Earth; Carmen De La Paz, a dynamic television personality and woodturning ambassador; and Jimmy Clewes, a Briton who now practices his craft in Las Vegas, Nevada.
AAW Annual Symposium
The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) holds its Annual Symposium in Atlanta from June 9 to 12. This year, the AAW boasts that it’s celebrating its 30th anniversary with the biggest and most ambitious symposium in recent years.
“This will be without a doubt the premier event for anyone with an interest in wood art and woodturning,” Phil McDonald, the AAW’s executive director, told me. He added, “We will have an incredibly diverse range of demonstrations and one of the largest trade shows. The symposium will give people an incomparable opportunity to be exposed to an international community of people with like interests.”