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Chapter Bulletin - July 2015
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Chapter Bulletin - July 2015

This email is being sent to all chapter officers.
The contents should be shared with club members as appropriate.
July 27, 2015

Hello Chapter Officers:

First, I apologize for the delay in getting the July Chapter Bulletin out to you. This was the inevitable result of dealing with the backlog of work that arises from our commitment to the activities during and after the annual symposium.

The Pittsburgh symposium was a success by a number of measures and I wanted to use this Bulletin to highlight a few outcomes from the event. There were also strong indications taken away from Pittsburgh about the need for further improvements to bring more value to AAW's symposium. One of the more significant activities during the symposium was our introduction of the Services, Publications, and Positioning Initiative, or "CAP" project, at the annual chapter meeting. Recall that a summary of this extremely important organizational project was sent to you with the June Bulletin. The formal roll-out occurred during the chapter meeting and about a dozen chapter officers accepted the offer to help facilitate a series of focus group discussions to gain a better understanding about the needs of beginners, intermediate, and advanced woodturners. Those focus groups are now underway and are being facilitated by AAW board member Louis Vadeboncoeur. When this consultative phase of the CAP project concludes early this fall, we are very confident that we will have amassed a wealth of new, factually-based insights about the effectiveness of our educational publications and services, and more importantly, collected important data identifying gaps between what we offer and what woodturners need.


In this Chapter Bulletin:

1) Pittsburgh Symposium Recap
2) Annual Chapter Meeting Summary
3) Inside the August Issue of American Woodturner
4) Woodturner's Guide for Business Protection

Recap of the 2015 AAW Pittsburgh Symposium

Below is summary information about the event. Although we are still projecting using preliminary financials, the symposium will return a positive net gain of approximately 6% of gross revenues. The cost to site and produce the event in Pittsburgh was among the highest ever committed to an AAW symposium. The mid-Atlantic region's Pittsburgh was selected due to its proximity to nearly half of AAW membership who live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Final attendance, 1,408, was lower than predicted.

Total registrations
Lathe raffle gross proceeds
Return to Community (Empty Bowls) gross proceeds
All auctions gross proceeds

We encouraged all attendees to give us feedback about their experiences. Nearly half provided us with information about their experience. On the positive side, the overall approval rating was 89%.


  • The overall Pittsburgh symposium approval rating as the proportion of combined Excellent/Very Good experience ratings from the online feedback tool is 88%. This compares with 91% and 79% for Phoenix and Tampa, respectively. The percentage of attendees who rated their experience as Excellent was 44%, and declined from 54% in Phoenix.
  • Just over half indicated this was either their first or second symposium, and 35% attended for the first time. This is nearly identical to the make-up in the prior two years.
  • With respect to the service experiences and among the choices provided, assistance from volunteers and staff, and the registration area rated most highly. AAW evening receptions and dinner, and the host hotel rated lowest.
  • The demonstrations, galleries, and the trade show ranked highest in importance among the choices provided for the most important individual aspects of symposium. This is unchanged over the prior two years.
  • 91% reported making a trade show purchase. This is comparable with the prior two years.
  • In order of dominance, the most important factors in deciding whether to attend are: relevance of demonstrations, distance from home, overall cost to attend, lodging and onsite expense, and whether schedule allows. After these, the importance of all other factors drops significantly. These ratings are consistent with responses from the prior two AAW symposia.

Themes that emerged from the respondents' comments:


  • On the question related to fulfillment of our mission through the symposium learning experience:
  • The symposium event app saw increased uptake and received high favorability ratings. 60% reported using the app - up from 45% last year.
  • 90% Strongly Agreed or Agreed when ranking the quality of advance online and email communications. This is comparable with last year.
  • The quality of the symposium Handout Book rates highly.


  • Too expensive - across a number categories.
  • Facility was too large and poorly laid out.
  • Not enough seating; not enough areas to socialize.
  • Poor experience with onsite concessions - prices, choices, and food quality.
  • Lighting and video issues in the demo rooms.
  • Parking issues.
The 2015 AAW Annual Chapter Meeting
For the benefit of all chapters the presentation delivered on site during the annual chapter meeting is available for download by clicking here. Although viewing the presentation slides absent the narrative may not provide for the more complete context of the session, the slides do convey the general messages and impressions. If, after reviewing this, there are any questions, please call the home office and I will be available to provide more information and address any questions.

August Issue of American Woodturner

Cover: American Woodturner - August 2015 The August issue of our American Woodturner publication will begin to arrive this week. Here is a small sampling of the many informative feature articles:
  • Avoiding Cracks in Bowls and Hollow Forms. Wood Moves! David Ellsworth discusses the dynamics of wood and moisture.
  • When Good Wood Cracks. Creative ways to address cracks when they occur, by Dennis Belcher.
  • Making a Simple Duplication Template. Kalia Kliban demonstrates a safe, non-marring, duplication technique for copying bowl and spindle shapes.
  • Shopmade Burning-Wire Tool. Make your own burning-wire tool with custom-turned handles and a steel guitar string, by Jim Duxbury.
  • Portable, Human-Powered Lathe Brings Woodturning to the Dominican. Two turners, some bicycle parts, and a lot of ingenuity make a world of difference for disadvantaged children, by Scott Lewis.

New Teaching Resource: Woodturner's Guide for Business Protection

Cover: CERF Woodturners Guide for Business Protection The AAW is pleased to collaborate with CERF+ to provide you with this 24-page complimentary special edition of "Woodturner's Guide for Business Protection," which offers information for protecting your art and business assets. Whether you are running a full time business or are working from a studio in your home, we hope that you'll find this information beneficial. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to CERF+ for sharing these valuable materials. Links to the CERF+ website for additional materials are included with each article. Click here to download.
The AAW's Teaching Resources program offers reference materials and project resources designed specifically to meet the interests and needs of the woodturning community.
Yours respectfully,




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