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AAW 2003 Honorary Lifetime Member: Bonnie Klein
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Honorary Lifetime Members

AAW 2003 Honorary Lifetime Member: Bonnie Klein




Bonnie Klein pounded scrap wood together as a youngster, playing at her dad’s home building job sites on Mercer Island, WA. “I would have taken wood shop in high school, but girls weren’t allowed,” she recalls. Despite all of the hurdles, Bonnie did manage to master woodturning. A former dental technician, she began tiny turning by trying to make doll furniture for her daughter on a Dremel toy lathe. She then moved on to a metal lathe, and finally introduced her own mini-lathe in 1986. By 1992 she had introduced a custom threading jig, as well as small turning tools.


Bonnie credits Dale Nish for encouraging her to teach and demonstrate, she now gets the greatest enjoyment from teaching children, frequently hauling several mini-lathes into classrooms. Known around the world as a great demonstrator, Bonnie advocates mini-lathe turning because it’s less intimidating for beginners—men or women, boys or girls—because “mistakes don’t seem so big or expensive.”


In addition to her teaching and turning, Bonnie served two three-year terms on the AAW board, including five years as vice president and chair of the symposium.

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