Southern Alberta Woodworkers Association Biannual Exhibition – 2015

Burl Eyes 3Eileen and I are very fortunate that two pieces we submitted to this biannual juried show were accepted. This show is very selective in its entire process. All pieces submitted first have to pass through the members of the "Standards Committee" which evaluates each and every piece for its ability to pass a very high standard of workmanship. Secondly the pieces then before the jury that evaluates the piece of work from their point of view about style, appropriateness for the show, ability to be displayed, being part of the theme of the show, etc. This year I believe they accepted 41 pieces - two of whichSerenity 3 were our work. The first piece is called Burl Eyes and is a natural-edge bowl made out of  Big Leaf Maple. It is 13 1/2" in diameter and 2 3/4" high. It has been finished with a natural oil mixture that Eileen has been using on our furniture for over 40 years. The second piece, is another Big Leaf Maple bowl. This one, however, is done with a wide lip with a small bowl inside that then has a textured and hand-painted rim surrounding it. Then come the wide edge or lip. I covered the bowl and textured lip with masking tape and then strung an old lace table cloth across the bowl, pulled it tight and then used an air-brush to paint the pattern (this done in black paint). After doing this, we decided that the colour needed to be enhanced a bit and so without the lace on I again used an air-brush to add the light green paint. This is a very interesting technique and I intend to use this technique on other pieces such as tall vases and pierced work. The Exhibition will take place from Sept. 11 - 19th, 2015 at Centre Court at South Centre Mall in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I hope some of you will take the time to visit the show. There are some incredible works of art/furniture.

New Technique – Learned from Bill Berry of Houston

Shimmer 3This technique was taught to me by Bill Berry of Houston when I attended his demo at the South West Area Turners Symposium in Waco, Texas, Aug. Serenity 3of 2014. This piece was created by first turning a bowl with a wide rim for the purpose of enhancing it. Then I covered up the inner bowl with masking tape and using an air-brush to apply the base coat of blue paint. After that I used an old lace tablecloth and pulling part of the lace across the bowl and holding it taught or tight I then used an air-brush and black paint to apply a second coat. What results is the negative space in the lace pattern. I think it has tremendous possibilities for use on vases and other projects as well. The second piece - the green one - was done a little differently. First of all, after turning the bowl and covering the inner bowl, I air-brushed the pattern on first using black paint. Then to enhance it a bit I did a second coat of green.

Palliser District Teacher’s Convention – 2015

12This year for the first time I presented two sessions at the Palliser District Teacher's Convention. I was very fortunate to be able to use the shop at 8Foothills Composite High School in Okotoks, which happens to be the shop that I inhabited for 22 1/2 years. The teacher, Cyril Reschny has been super supportive over the years since I retired and I was elated when he decided that he would host my sessions this year. Dave Connell from Highwood High School in High River and Warren Cummins from Okotoks Junior High School both brought their own lalthes and were super willing to share their time on the lathes with other people who dropped in despite the session being listed as full. This was a good thing - not bad, and I really appreciate the three Foothills School Division teachers for all their help this past week. On Thursday, we did a wooden mallet and then a small bowl. Things went very well and teachers seemed to be happy with their results. On Friday we did a Sea Urchin Christmas Ornament and then a thin-walled bowl - like 5 - 6 /100's of an inch thick. At this point I then showed them the piercing tools that I use and let them play with that a bit. Again people seemed to 11be very happy with the results they were getting. With all of these convention sessions I end up feeling like the kids in the classroom are going to benefit from the increased abilities and knowledge that their teacher's have 9learned and that ultimately the students will learn more. I hope that as I continue to do these conventions that people will continue to come back and learn new skills, new projects and be 410energized to take this enthusiasm back to their classrooms. 7

Calgary City Teacher’s Convention – 2015

3Well the CCTCA has come and gone once again. Once again this year I was lucky enough to be able to use the shop at Black Forest Wood Products in Calgary, thanks Terry. I had two great days and I was 2so impressed with everyone - you did such a great job, all of you. This year, unlike past years, I had 4 participants that were there for both days and did I ever see lots of growth from those four. It is really good for me to see this kind of growth.1It was really good to get to meet a bunch of new teachers that were interested in woodturning. Several of the participants were not even shop teachers - they just wanted to try something new and my sessions found their interest. Another thing that I liked about this group was that participants were not shy about asking if they could change the type of project that they were doing - for instance the 8first project on Thursday was to be a Dried Flower Vase - right away some of the guys went - do you mind if I make a mallet instead. My response6 was go ahead - the object here is to learn how to use the tools correctly and then to create shapes that you want to create. What you do is not as important as how you do it. It was also nice, once again, to have some ladies in the class - it always help make my day when there is some. Jenn, actually took both days, has a lathe at home, a husband who turns as well and will use these skills to teach her kids in shop  how to turn. I wish her luck on that as I wish all of you luck. Took too many pictures to9 put them all up on this post but thank you all for coming and wish you the very best year end possible. Thanks again, Jim10

Convention Season 2015 – North Central Teachers Convention Association – Feb. 5th and 6th

NCTCA 2015 - 11What can I say - I just had to start off this post with a picture of my youngest grand daughter out shopping with her mom. Her name is Lily and she is so sweet NCTCA 2015 - 8but then I could be a touch biased. At any rate, this past week, I was hosted by Mr. Aaron Breitkreitz at Salisbury Composite High School in Sherwood Park, AB. The first day was an introductory class that was also attended by some more experienced turners and it made a great mix of people. There were, in fact, three wonderful young ladies there that had never turned on a lathe before - they went away very happy so I guess that is all one can ask. The projects wereNCTCA 2015 - 16NCTCA 2015 - 10 a dried flower vase and a small bowl. The bowl seems to have been the more popular of the two this time around. Fridays group was a much more NCTCA 2015 - 3experienced group of turners and we did a Sea Urchin Christmas Ornament and a small lidded box. I am getting to know most of the guys in this group quite well and enjoy them every time we get together. I learn from them probably as much as they  learn from me. The one picture of the ornaments is awful NCTCA 20115 - 13NCYCA 2015 - 2blurry but does show the different types that were turned. I even had to add in a picture with the old guy in it. Good fun was  had by all and I hope that each and everyone of the participants went away happy and ready to face the end of the school year. Happy trails, my friends. Jim

Design – Dec. 2014

Incorporating wood into a modern interior design style   Do you take wood for granted? In our homes it's all around us, under our feet, over our heads – everywhere! The connection between the trees outside waving in the breeze and the cherry wood desk you sit at to work is easily forgotten, yet it's stronger than ever.   As a material for use in interior design, wood has a lot of things going for it. There's no denying its tactile charm, its warmth and flexibility. Wood comes in a wide spectrum of shades, grains, textures and densities, and its versatility as an interior material is unparalleled. To add guaranteed warmth and ambiance to a room, wood can be used for flooring, wall or ceiling paneling with great success. In its natural state, wood makes an attractive addition to any room.   Why wood?   One of the main joys of wood is the ease with which it can be worked and changed into other things. Whether that's bespoke custom furniture, gleaming oak cabinetry, intricately carved bowls, wooden shutters, or simple tables and chairs, wood is amenable to change. Wood can be successfully colored with stains or paint in order to match any interior design scheme. It can be turned on a lathe, pierced, carved or polished up to a glossy shine. Equally, it can be treated to look aged, or milled to appear fresh and new. Responsibly sourced timber, harvested from sustainable supplies, offers a durable, attractive and practical design material for many types of modern interior.   Increasingly, modern architecture trends focus on homes that are light and airy and made from sustainable natural materials. Homes featuring large glazed walls and expanses of wood and stone in harmonious combinations are very popular. Wood is strong and makes a good structural material, used frequently for beams and roofing supports; it is attractive enough to be left exposed, and many interiors make a feature of old sand-blasted or new timber beams.   Wood in modern homes   In buildings with high ceilings, often a mezzanine floor is erected to expand the floor space. Such bold interior structures are ideal constructed in wood as it is a material that's relatively lightweight, strong, attractive and easily cut to size.   Fans of the rustic look embrace reclaimed and distressed wood for use in their interiors. Cladding on interior and exterior walls, using reclaimed wood, is a popular and environmentally friendly approach. Aged wood often has greater inherent strength due to its vintage. Old floorboards needn't go straight in the trash, they can be upcycled into a charming dining table and matching benches.   Because of its versatility, a skilled carpenter can use wood to make bespoke cabinets to fit the most quirky of interiors. Often, older houses may not have such true angles, but a master craftsman in wood knows how to shape and craft the timber so that it fits snugly and functions smoothly. Other made-to-measure projects such as room dividers, platform beds and library shelving all work fantastically in wood.   Our love affair with wood has been going on for thousands of years. Today, whether it's the cozy ski chalet look, mid-century modern teak extravaganzas or the bleached out, clapboard beach house style, wood still has a central role to play in modern homes.

Chestermere High School – Dec. 2014

This past week - Dec 15 - 16th, I was at the High School in Chestermere teaching some fine  young people how to use the lathe. This is the second year in2 a row that I have been hired to go in and do this. It was great fun and I hope to be able to do it for many years to come. With my February booked  solid again with Teacher's Conventions it was a great way to  test out my tools and tools list for these workshops.  I have to say right off the top that the attitude of the kids was so awesome once again that I have to hand it to their teacher Mr. Andrew Autet - they obviously have such a great amount of respect for him and what he is trying to do that it was wonderful to see. As a teacher for 35 + years I am not sure that my own classes ever treated me any better or for that matter as good as these students did. This year was a little different that the last one as some of the kids had taken it last year with me and some were new. Therefore I had a lot of different projects going on at the same time which makes it a bit harder to handle the demonstration part of the experience. I still love to teach, I guess that is why I continue to work in these situations - not to mention that it helps my pension look better. So we did some tops, some beads and coves, some bowls some lidded boxes and some dried flower vases. It was really fun. I also had a great time staying at the Best Western Motel in Strathmore - they treated me very well and the restaurant about 100 feet from my door was awesome as well. I think a good time was had be all. I missed my visit with Joe van Keulen and his wife as their grand daughter had a Christmas concert at her school. Consequently I spent most of the night in my room trying to watch hockey that did not 3really interest me. Oh well, that is part of travelling. At any rate here are some pictures of my time there. Enjoy and have a safe and happy Christmas Season and a Great 2015. Jim8 6 4

SWAT 2014

Well August and September have come and gone and SWAT is just a recent memory. SWAT stands for Southwest Area Woodturners and their 23rd annual symposium held Aug. 22 - 24. I was one of the regional demonstrators. I had two rotations - in the first one I got both halves of a Light Dancer turned and glued up. In the second session I explained how I laid out my embellishments and showed how I did the piercing, stippling and the woodburning. All went well. When I was setting up for my first rotation, Alan Carter, one of the featured demonstrators came up to me and said "you realize this room is jinxed don't you?" I replied, no, and why? He said " I blew my piece up and Rudy Lopez blew his up before me." That certainly got me attention as my light dancers are about 5\100's of an inch thick. I almost ended up going through the bottom section but pulled it out just in time. This was a great experience for me and great exposure. I also got to visit with two old friends, Bill Allen and Andrew Buchanon. It was 1976 the last time I saw Bill and 1979 or 80 when I last saw Andrew. I was privileged to spend two days with each of them. My only regret is that I don't have one picture of the entire experience other than some pictures of pieces that were in the instant gallery.

Caroline School – May 28 – 30th, 2014

The boys figuring it out.

The boys figuring it out.

May 28th to May 30th, I was once again up at Caroline School. I did three one-day long workshops with 3 different groups of kids. It was, as usual, a great
Some of the product.

Some of the product.

time. The instructor, Mr. Bradley Barr, does an excellent job with his shop classes and in an effort to expand their skills he is willing to bring me in to teach them. Once again I took six of my lathes and put that together with the two lathes Brad had and we were able to teach 8 kids per day. Hopes were to run
More product on display

More product on display

an evening class again in conjunction with the Art Sale held to raise funds for the new school playground. Unfortunately, this year there were some glitches in communication and put together with very poor weather, it ended up
The top turnoff - day two

The top turnoff - day two

being cancelled. I am really impressed by the students in this school, teachers, parents and the students themselves should be happy with the fact that they present a very positive outlook to people on the outside.                                                  The students really seemed to enjoy having an informal top turn-off. There were some excellent tops turned over the course of the three days not to mention many fine bowls as well.  The third project that we worked on was a Christmas ornament of a design of their choice. Many were quite happy to be taking something home that they could add to the decorations at Christmas time. All-in-all a great three days. Thanks, Jim

The Leighton Arts Centre – May 2014

     In May of this year I had the opportunity to teach a one day workshop on the basic use of the lathe at the beautiful Leighton Arts Centre in Millarville, Alberta. While there were only three participants - at this first of  hopefully many more workshops on turning - it was a really good day. I had a friend from the Calgary Woodturners Guild, Mr. Brad Shannon, come and help me. Brad and his wife are long time supporters of the Leighton Centre, and so he just came along to make sure everything worked out the way it was supposed to. Originally this day was scheduled to be held outdoors, something I have never done, but the weather did not cooperate and we ended up having it indoors. We covered a dried flower vase first and then did a small bowl. As far as I know everyone, once again,  went away happy with the results of the day. This historical arts centre has been in operation for many years - originally by Mr. Leighton himself, but for years now it has been run as a non-profit organization that is all about supporting the arts in general. The setting is out in the foothills north east of Millarville and quite close to an observatory with a great microscope. Eileen and I raised our kids in the shadows of this great center and my oldest son worked yards/gardens there one summer many moons ago. This was  a great day. Thanks, Jim

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