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About the AAW
The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, dedicated to advancing the art and craft of woodturning worldwide by offering opportunities for education, information, inspiration, and community to those interested in turning wood. Established in 1986, AAW currently has more than 15,000 members and a network of over 350 local chapters globally representing professionals, amateurs, artists, hobbyists, gallery owners, collectors, and others. The AAW possesses the single largest collection of woodturning information anywhere and its award-winning journal, American Woodturner, is the foremost publication on the art and craft of woodturning in the world.
Woodturning is a contemporary craft with roots dating back over 2,500 years. The process involves a lathe, a machine that securely holds and spins wood at high speeds, wherein artists and craftspeople shape objects using specialized gouges and chisels. Traditionally, woodturning has been used to create functional items, such as chair legs, candlesticks, and bowls. Today, lathe-turned work is also understood as an art form and vehicle for individual enrichment, creativity, and expression, and embraces diversity in both genre and makers. The objects produced are just as varied as the people who turn them. From functional objects, like bowls, to abstract sculptural forms, woodturning may include surface carving, embellishment, and finishing techniques, and specialized methods such as segmented, multi-axis, ornamental, pen turning. The art and craft of woodturning has a modest learning curve and engages people from age 8 to 108.