The Joy of Woodturning

campbell2015The Joy of Woodturning is the name of my woodturning week at John C Campbell Folk School. This year it took place during Scottish Week, and what a joy it was. There were eight students ranging from beginner to very experienced, three women and five men.

We met on Sunday evening at the studio and talked about what each student wanted to accomplish over the week. Then I gave them a short demo on how to look at wood and what to think about when selecting the various parts of the tree.

On Monday morning I started the new turners out on beads and coves to get them used to handling the tools. The more advance students skipped this step and started their own projects. My most advanced student, Jayne, turned uninterrupted the entire time. With fifteen year experience, she didn’t need any instruction, except for asking a few questions about pyrography, the art of wood burning. Another one of my students, Dave, had been in one of my bowl classes at Highland Woodworking the previous year. He is now totally addicted to turning.

campbell20151Regardless of experience, all of the students advanced their skills over the week. It all comes down to standing at the lathe- the more you turn, the better you get. Everyone left with a sense of accomplishment, and we formed a community, as the more experienced turners helped the less experienced. It was a successful week!

My reward is experiencing the movement in the class. A community forms and sharing take place. I love to teach at J C Campbell because it is a non-competitive environment and students truly experience the joy of turning. They get to laugh at themselves and find that turning is about sharing. I look forward to continuing to teach there for years to come.

J C Campbell folk school is located in Brasstown, NC. Go to for a complete view of the school and what it has to offer. For private classes year round, contact me

There’s snow time like the present to learn to turn!

I haven’t written for a while, so let me catch up. I was teaching at the J C Campbell Folk School the week Atlanta had an ice storm. Campbell got a little snow- just enough to cover the ground and make it very scenic.

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My class was really great. I had six amazing students: Brown, Paul, Paul, Bruce, Phil and Robin.  Three of the students were new to turning, but by the end of the week were tackling advanced turnings. The remaining students were already good turners, so I left them alone and just focused on showing them new techniques.


Back in Atlanta, I taught a bowl turning class to eight students at Highland Woodworking. Everyone left with a beautiful bowl and smiles on their faces.


If you get the opportunity to take a turning class, try it, you will be amazed! Come take one of my classes at Highland Woodworking or the J C Campbell Folk School. I teach bowl turning once a month at Highland and I will be back at Campbell the first week of September.

Until next time, happy turning!

A new look

My website is being updated to make it easier to share where I’ll be teaching next and what I’m working on. (More content to come)