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Woodturning News: General News

AAW SYMPOSIUM NEWS: Turn, Turn, Turn-Woodturners symposium will draw hundreds of artisans to convent

Thursday, July 02, 2015  
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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Turn, Turn, Turn-Woodturners symposium will draw hundreDs of artisans to convention center (06/20/2015)


You probably know a woodworker, but a woodturner?


They’re a little more on the outskirts of the artisan world, creating bowls, pepper grinders and other pieces of functional art by a process many people have never seen.


The American Association of Woodturners should open some eyes to this ancient craft when it holds its 29th annual international symposium at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, Thursday through June 28. Hundreds of artisans from around the country and world will come to show how they have taken an art first practiced in ancient Egypt to an amazing level of intricacy and sophistication.


While many workshops and lectures are open only to conference-goers, the public is invited to a collectors symposium Thursday at the Society for Contemporary Craft in the Strip District. Two exhibitions of woodturning will be held Friday and Saturday at the convention center and a separate exhibit of work by 12 women artisans continues through July 25 at the SCC satellite gallery at BNY Mellon Center, Downtown. The public can also attend a trade show on Friday and Saturday (see schedule below).


By definition, woodturning is fashioning pieces of wood into shaped objects by using a stationary tool while the wood is turning on a lathe. Dave Weiss of McCandless considers himself an amateur, but his work suggests a high level of skill that allows him to create holiday ornaments and bowls within bowls.


Mr. Weiss figures his interest in making things started when he was growing up in Millvale. Along with other neighborhood kids, he would loaf down by the Allegheny River, where he became enthralled with boats and built his own in high school. He worked as a tool designer and mechanical engineer at Westinghouse for nearly 45 years, then built his own lathe from spare parts and created a workshop in his garage.



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