Sunday, March 22, 2009

April 1 Meeting- not a Joke!

With the April meeting coming in a couple of weeks, I wanted to send out a reminder that the topic will be using bowl coring tools. We will have a Kelton coring unit and two of the Steussy Bowlsaws available for club members to try out. If any other members own coring tools and would like to bring them to the meeting, please contact me at .

In addition, in the interest of making the meeting more "hands on", it would also be beneficial if members brought some wood to turn and core. With access to enough "stock", we should be able to have everyone cut a core to create a nested set of bowls to take home and finish turn at their leisure! Please remember that the Oneway 1224's can turn up to 12" and your home lathe will need to accomodate the cores at some later point (mini lathe owners)!

If nobody brings wood, it will be a short meeting. Coring a bowl takes about 2 minutes. Please remember to BYOW!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7th Dennis Fuge Empties his Pockets

Dennis Fuge joined the Water Gap Woodturners today to deliver a two part all day demo in celebration of the WGW's 1st anniversary. The meeting was well attended, drawing nearly the entire membership in a tremendous show of growth from 12 months ago.

Club business was quickly contained to the first minutes of the meeting to allow Dennis to deliver the first part of the program: From Road Kill to Lathe. Dennis discussed the breadth of his life experience before settling into NJ, which he described as "hardwood heaven". We went through a very interesting exercise in identifying local hardwoods. Dennis asked how many of the 14 common NJ trees could we identify on the bench, and as a group we got 13 of them with little trouble. Pear was the "prickly" one (groan, yes that was a pun...)

The main program was about decorative techniques for platters, however, many of Dennis' demonstrated techniques could be applied to any woodturning. Dennis credited the influences in his work from his teacher, as he has now become the teacher. As Dennis pointed out, we take a lifetime to "fill our pockets" with the techniques that make our work our own. From the looks of Dennis' pockets, I'd say he should be wearing some pretty big pants.

Dennis started with the basics of roughing out and drying platters, however the main focus was on surface enhancement. He laid out the concept of a Saturn platter, and the various layers that would be added. Some of the techniques covered were poured pewter inserts, carving, burning, ostrich skin texture (Note for Dennis: one of my three!), eggshell, gesso, and a few more to that I have probably forgotten! For the next four hours, Dennis' passion for wood flowed as he disclosed his techniques freely and openly. The Water Gap Woodturners thanks Dennis for his time and energy and we would welcome him back any time.

The meeting adjourned with the announcement that the next meeting will be about bowl coring systems. Please check back before April 1 for the formal announcement of the meetings schedule.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Water Gap Woodturners hosts Dennis Fuge, Saturday March 7th

Just a friendly reminder that the Water Gap Woodturners will be hosting an all day workshop with Dennis Fuge this weekend at the Peters Valley woodshop. Dennis will be covering decorative techniques for platters. The event starts at 10AM and finishes up around 4PM. Even if you can't stay for the whole day, don't pass up the opportunity to meet Dennis and learn some new techniques!

I know Dennis from NJ Woodturners and I asked him for a syllabus. Here's what he's proposing:

Here is what we are going to do this Saturday.

A) A 15 minute slide show on some of my work.
B) A 30 minute session on log identification called "From Road Kill to Lathe" This covers the identification of the most popular trees in the North East and some very creative ideas as to what to do with them.
C) A 4 to 5 hour demo on "Decorative Platters" – Design, turning, carving, ebonizing, painting, burning, metal inlays, egg shell, branding, ostrich skin, mud matting

About the Artist:

Dennis Fuge has been wood turning for about 38 years. He turned his first item is South Africa when he was 15 years old during the compulsory school wood working class. It received a failing grade, but for him that was not at all important as it started him on my love affair with wood and the beauty which can be created on the lathe. He continued with my wood turning while living in Hong Kong, but for the 10 year he lived there he did not meet a single wood turner. In fact the first 30 years in woodturning we very lonely as he only met 2 other turners during that period, both of those were during his travels to Zimbabwe.

It was only when he came to live in the USA in 1998 that his contact with other turners and artist absolutely exploded. He now lives in Mendham, New Jersey and is a well know demonstrator in the Northeast and is a active contributor to the New Jersey Woodturners Chapter.