Tuesday, 28 June 2011

AAW Symposium

Well WOW is all I can, and I got to meet and have my picture taken with one of my favourite makers Douglas Fisher.

Having just returned from the AAW Symposium in Saint Paul, Minesotta, USA, and the jet lagg over with I thought I had better update my blog.

More entries will come as I have some catching up to do but this will start it off. The picture below is a piece in the instant gallery made by one of the demonstrators on the stand I was with, Robin Costelle, who has since said that it was an honour to turn with me, but I think you will agree looking at this piece that the honour was actually all mine.
Robin Costelle who was great to meet and demo with

and in between Robin and myself demonstrating was Jimmy Clewes.

I was priveledged to attend through my sponsors Crown Tools to demonstrate the new Revolution hollowing system and other tools, which were well received with many being sold, which was good as I felt I had earnt my ticket.

The symposium is held every year by the AAW and is the Meca of Woodturning. Cetainly this was the view I had before I went and can only say "and some".

Over the years I have been to the states on numerous occassions on both business and pleasure and several things have always struck me about the country and the people.

One is obviously the size with the other being the freindlyness of every one I have met over the years, also the Americans now how to do things "big". I am not only refering to the size, which due to the amount of land is not so much of an issue as it is for us in the UK. Such open space means that they do not have to skimp on the roads, buildings etc, but also when they do something they don't do it by half. Quality, organisation and results are top of the adjenda, and they get them.

The Symposium held at the River Centre, Minesotta was no acception. A massive building and while I was there not only was the symposium but also the NHL Draft and still there was room to swing a horse. While I was stood outside partaking in some refreshment I was engulfed by camera crews from CNN followed by big young guys in suits with their partners on their arms getting off of coaches. This quickly resulted in fans running up to them with autograph books, so if you see me on CNN grinning like a excentric Englishman you'll know why as I found it all rather interesting.

On arriving after a long flight via Amsterdam I got to the hotel for a quick change of clothes and then it was off to the River centre a few blocks away.

It was stange having set off from Bristol at 0600hrs that morning, flown for 12 hours and be in the River centre for 1300hrs.

I met Clay Johnson and his team on Choice Woods who are a great bunch. Freindly, helpful and who sell a huge array of quality wood and tools.

Hereis a video link of Clay giving a run down of what they are about at the symposium.

This was the stand and us setting up ( actually I stood around like a lemon as everyone else set up. Clay and his team were so organised and had everything under control) So I went and sorted out my lathe, tools and wood for the next day.
There were over 150 demonstrations in rotation by the worlds top turners, other lectures etc, view the AAW symposium video here as it says it far better than I can.

Then once set up I went to find the instant gallery. Umm well to say I was blown away is an understatement.

Here are a few pictures of what was a huge exhibition. I will update soon with some more info about how it went but have to get back to catching up on some work as a student is coming tomorrow for a hollowing course followed by an all day demo in Cornwall to get ready for on Saturday.

Bihn Pho made from glass



Mood Wood said...

Hi Mark,

I'm slowly working my way through this post what with all the pics and links, so just wanted to say how fascinating and exciting it all is.

Thanks for sharing it.



Mark said...

Hi Lee

I have another 300 pictures to get my way through and shall post a few more.