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My good friend Mark Harrell has an article in this months issue of Furniture and Cabinet Making. I was in the film industry working upto 18 hours a day modeling everything from houses, robots, ships, cars, planes you name and it all had to be done yesterday.
We all have to work to survive in this heartless world, I now make clocks and am slowing moving on to furniture, money is always tight, the luxrious lifestyle is gone but my kid has a father and that’s all that matters to me. So my mission now is: Go and build a good life, with a healthy job and room for a lot of creativity. After a while I noticed I accepted the fact that I wasn’t feeling happy, but hey, I have a steady income, so why leave the safety zone?
The time has come to actually do something that makes me happy, to be creative, to learn something everyday. Members of 1% for the Planet contribute 1% of annual sales directly to nonprofit environmental organizations. Then it got chilly, then we had one final weekend of hot weather, now the temperature is dropping by 10 degrees every day and the Buio cat is curled up in a tight little ball & it looks like Fall is For Real. It took me so long to put this update up because I was attempting to write all my family members actual paper letters about my gender stuff & name shift. The library is now the Fox Point Community Library, kids have been asking for and talking about city-building for the past four years, and Ann and local artist Mary Geiser have brought the New Your City project back for a third iteration! I haven’t had anything to do with organizing the project this time around, and it’s been really great to pass the project on (under an informal creative-commons share-alike non-commercial license, more or less) and see it come to life again!
My favorite part of the city project is possibly the binder notebook in which kids & grownups are asked to write (or draw, or dictate to somebody else to write) about what they made. Other work news: the Plant Sale poster is done, the eggplants are just about the same color as my eggplant-colored sweatshirt, what happened there???? My awesome and accomplished fellow panelists are Matthew Lawrence, Mickey Zacchilli, and Laurencia Strauss. Like all writers, he measured the achievements of others by what they had accomplished, asking of them that they measure him by what he envisaged or planned. Okay, so this could get into a much longer ramble about thoughts for the future and specific projects and etc. Also, Meg Turner & I are gonna be selling our work at the spring RISD alumni art sale!
I got stuck in New Orleans for five extra days last week, because of the many feet of snow that fell on the mid-atlantic cities, blocking all airport connections. Sitting outside and drawing the factory was really rewarding, but the technical demands of the plate made those rewards fewer and farther between.
This is the shortest my hair has been since the summer of 2003 (when I’d had a shaggy mohawk for a while, then an italian anarcho-punk squatter kid buzzed the sides of it for me.
Lilah has been rocking it with amazing posts about fashion, appearance, and identity at mattababy, and Deb perfectly captured where I am at these days with this post on her art blog.
Thank-you for sharing your life, I have your book and enjoy looking in on your website occasionally and have listened to your music online. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of the summer, looks like a lot was accomplished, and a good time was had by all! In medieval times and even up to the 1800s, guilds were associations of tradesmen that fit somewhere between a union and a secret society.
In 1988, I was one of 10 woodturners who joined together to form the first woodturning guild in our area: the Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild. Most (if not all) woodturning guilds in North America and many in other countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Great Britain, have become chapters of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW). When we first arrive and start setting up for our meeting, we chat and pick each other’s brains on woodturning matters. Another huge advantage of belonging to (most) guilds is access to internationally known turners for demonstrations and workshops. Joining a guild was the best thing I ever did for both my turning skills and the friendships that I have struck. The 1% for the Planet network brings together like-minded leaders who share a belief that business can be a vital catayst for positive environmental change. To do the things you feel are important (to you, your loved ones or mother earth) and to do them in such a way that as much positive effects as possible are left to experience or remember. They were intended to insure quality workmanship but also to safeguard techniques so that only members of the guilds would retain specific knowledge.
I learned from my father who was an excellent turner as was his father before him, so I was at least capable of the basics in spindle turning. Many individual members of these guilds and individuals who aren’t fortunate enough to live near a guild are members of the AAW.
Then meetings start with various discussion groups that appeal to both new and experienced turners, depending on the topic. Both our guilds bring in guest demonstrators from all over North America as well as abroad if they happen to be in the area. How much of our precious lives are wasted watching TV, politics, movies, sports and Facebook.
I mean, I think about it a lot in general, but recently I’ve been trying to think about it constructively instead of just worrying a bunch of things around in my head.
I encourage you to spend time with your wonderful family, before you know it your kids will be on their own.
The Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild spawned from this guild to serve the population of the more urban area further west, enjoying a membership just over 100. Some, including myself, are members of both.
In both types of venues, the highlight is meeting and talking with other woodturners, learning their tricks, getting new ideas and forming friendships that seem to exist easily over miles, countries and even continents.
And finally, the main event is a demonstration by one of our own or a visiting member from another guild. They demonstrate their specialty over a full day, then host a full day hands-on workshop with no more than five or six people. I have a son in the military in the middle east, he is 20 now but it seems like yesterday that he was a curly haired bundle of energy and such a joy to us. I can see from the pics that the old shack in Chimney Corner’s heading into its last fall.
Two-hundred woodturners are a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to tap into, which is just one of the benefits of joining a woodturning guild.
After joining the woodturning guild, my eyes had been opened to a world of woodturning that I never new existed; bowl turning and spindle turning both applied in an artistic way to create things that I never knew were possible on a lathe. It is attended by anywhere from 900 to 1100 members each year who are able to participate in 11 sessions over three days, choosing from over 150 seminars presented by about 50 skilled instructors in everything turning-related: surface enhancement, photographing your work, turning techniques, finishing techniques, sharpening, designing concepts, marketing your work — you name it. Once these friendships take hold, the web takes over, making it easier to communicate as if we were all next door to each other. In the 26 years since, I can’t even fathom the things that I have learned simply because I have been rubbing shoulders with like-minded people who enjoy sharing what they know. Whether in a local guild or not, I highly recommend that at the very least you join the AAW itself for all the advantages that they provide.
Not only that, in the interim, techniques had progressed and there were tools available that never existed when I first learned how to turn.
There is more to the symposiums than just learning, including gallery presentations and tool vendors.
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