AAW 25th Anniversary Symposium archive

Wednesday 30 November 2011

2011 marked the 25th anniversary of the Association of Woodturners of America (AAW), Mark Baker reports from this prestigious event and shares his experiences with us


The AAW (American Association of Woodturners) is 25 this year so it should come as no surprise that they pulled out all the stops for their annual Symposium, which was held in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 24-26 this year.

To say that the AAW Symposium is the largest of its kind in the world is correct, but from that it is difficult to visualise what happens and what is available to attendees over the three days of the event.

There are over 150 rotations to choose from; a large trade vendor area which also includes a range of demonstrations as well as an instant gallery - typically with over 1,000 pieces on display. Special exhibits of work this year included David Ellsworth, Roots – An Artist's Voice; Turning 25 - A Celebration; National Treasures, and Empty Bowls.

There were also 14 specialist discussion panels and forum events, a youth program which ran for the whole duration of the Symposium and then of course there is the auction, the evening banquet, and so much more.

There is one other thing that makes this event important and that is catching up with friends. I must admit to having been absolutely exhausted after the event,but what a wonderful, rich experience. People were dashing here and there trying to get to places. Conversations were snatched and continued over the few days there as people went to rotations and events; the Instant Gallery and special exhibits were places of wonder, awe and realisation that woodturning is a very broad church where there is a vibrant community of people trying out all sorts of routes and ideas. Everyone I spoke to was fired up to try out new things, experiment, and of course the most important thing is to have fun. Did I have fun? Yes! Am I looking forward to going again and recommending it to others? Yes! Here are some selected highlights of a few of the things I saw.

Tegan Foley

Tagged In:

Mark Baker , American Association of Woodturners , symposium , Utah

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Exhibits, Galleries & Emerging Artists

1. David Ellsworth Retrospective
2. Roots - An Artists Voice
3. Turning 25 - A Celebration
4. Art from the Lathe
5. Instant Gallery
6. 25 for $25
7. Chapter Collaborative Challenge
8. Empty Bowls
9. Intimate Critique
10. Virgil Leih
11. National Treasures
12. Emerging Artists - Dill, Lyon, Weidman

A Selection Of The Demonstrators

1. Dixie Biggs
2. Trent Bosch
3. Jerome Blanc
4. J. Paul Fennell
5. Dick Gerard
6. Allen Jensen
7. John Jordan
8. Bonnie Klein
9. Claude Lethiecq
10. Bill Luce
11. Jon Magill
12. Jim Sannerud
13. Hayley Smith
14. Al Stirt
15. Craig Timmerman
16. Derek Weidman

A view of part of the expansive trade area (PHOTOGRAPH BY GMC/MARK BAKER)

The 2012 Symposium

The event next year will be held in San Jose, California, from 8-10 June, at the San Jose Convention and Cultural Facilities. We will bring you more information when it becomes available to us

Stuart Batty demonstrating within the trade area (PHOTOGRAPH BY GMC/MARK BAKER)

Further Viewing

Should you wish to see more of what was on offer, then have a look at these links. Below you will find some links to a wonderful array of photos and a video clip from Jeff Schnell: