15 April 2005

They liked my egg!

The Pacific Northwest Woodturning Guild was first proposed early last year, and since then its charter members have determined the basic structure, written bylaws, elected officers, and registered as an official chapter of the AAW (American Association of Woodturners).

The purpose of the PNWG is to promote the craft and the art of woodturning by educating gallery owners and the general public on what woodturning is and how to recognize quality work. Internally, the guild plans to provide information to its members on all aspects of marketing their work. Externally, the guild will use its web site, brochures, and displays at area shows and in other public venues, to both educate buyers and to promote its woodturning members as a source of high-quality turnings and turned art.

To ensure that gallery owners and the public can expect quality, the guild has developed a rating system that will be used to certify that a member's turnings consistently meet a certain standard of workmanship. Members submit an initial group of pieces for review, and if the determination is that the work meets or exceeds the standard, the member is entitled to use the designation "Certified Member of PNWG" on business cards and similar materials.

Membership in the guild is open to anyone with an interest in creating and/or selling woodturnings, but only those who are both actual woodturners and active members of AAW are eligible for certification. Woodturners who have joined the guild but are not certified are designated as Members, while non-turners, such as gallery owners or tool makers, are designated as Associate Members.

PNWG is based in Portland, Oregon, but it plans to recruit and promote the work of members from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Any interested turner may join, but the majority of members currently are, or plan to become, professional woodturners who earn all or a good portion of their income from selling their creative output.

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Now that I've introduced you to PNWG, I'll explain my post title. At tonight's guild meeting, where we discussed our soon-to-be-written brochure as well as our soon-to-be-published web site, I passed around a black walnut egg (approximately Grade AA Extra Large size) that I had turned this afternoon. It started as an irregular chunk, highly figured and almost burly in places, and even unfinished it is interesting to look at. Two or three of the other turners made nice comments about it. Tomorrow (today?) I will finish it with Watco Natural Danish Oil, and when that has cured I'll buff it with wax. I'm expecting the figure to "pop" quite a bit.

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I had several near-encounters with wildlife on the drive home, which made it fun. First, a rather large coyote ran diagonally across the road from the berry farm on the left side to a newly cleared field on the right. As I slowed down to let him cross, my out-loud thought was, "My, what BIG ears you have!"

I rolled down my window at the next turn, so I could listen to the Pacific tree frogs that have populated a temporary pool in the corner pasture. Then partway down the half-mile hill, I spotted the green eye-shine of an oppossum. I braked a bit, until it shuffled up the bank into the shrubbery. And I slowed way down once more, on the last straight stretch before my turnoff, for a blacktail deer ambling along the roadside. After a few moments hesitation, the deer turned and "spronged" over a fence and trotted up the grassy slope and out of sight.

Time to sleep. I need to start doing this earlier in the evening! I'll post before-and-after pictures of the egg later.


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