This year marks the 18th year that the Big Island Woodturners have been displaying their art at an annual exhibit. I have attended the last nine, and each year, think, “Well, they have outdone themselves again.” Wrong. The pieces continue to get more creative and jaw-dropping.
Woodturning is the art of creating wooden objects on a lathe. The wood is moving while a tool is used to cut and shape it.
“We’re having a good turnout again at the exhibit,” said Gene Short, a longtime member. I loved Short’s whimsical “Cyclops Hangover,” turned from Norfolk Pine. “It’s fun to see what the people respond to,” he added as attendees gathered around the displays.
It is hard to believe the pieces are all turned from wood, such as Alex Franceschini’s “Red Moon” (in Lychee, Mango, and Norfolk Pine) or Doug Keown’s “A Little Fishy” (Jacaranda/Inks). Some are so beautiful and delicate, you would swear they were made from glass or ceramic. I was also charmed by this year’s displays of miniatures.
While some pieces had practical uses (bowls, lamps, pens), others were sheer art; some were a great mix of both.
Woods used ranged from Koa, Norfolk Pine, Tamarind, Lychee, Hau, and Mango, but that list is just a sampling.
The club collects no dues – the only requirement is participation.
Catalogs are available for those wishing to purchase; there is also an online auction.
On Saturdays, demonstrations are held, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The Big Island Woodturners 18th Annual Exhibition will be held at the Wailoa Center in Hilo through March 31. Exhibit opens at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 4:30 p.m. (closed Sundays). Free.