Whew! August in Texas! I know the heat really hampers those who do not enjoy the pleasure of an air-conditioned shop. If you want to do any turning you have to get up before the chickens. I am fortunate to have an air-conditioned shop… it just doesn’t work very well! August is always an interesting month. SWAT occurs at the end August 25-27, and we do get to have a club meeting August 17 and open shop August 19 as well. As an incentive for Open shop attendance, I have started to hand out raffle tickets and have a drawing or two for something good. Stop by have some fun at Open shop either by helping someone else or getting some help with turning. All skill levels of turners are encouraged.
At the meeting this month our own John Holderman and Chris Cohen will present some tips on how to make segmented work such as the Beads of Courage boxes. The Beads of Courage boxes are very special boxes as they are made to contain the Beads collected by children who are undergoing procedures to help them with life threatening disease issues. For each procedure they endure they receive a colored bead. Chemo, transfusions, radiation and on and on. They end up with a long chain of beads. Consequently, they need a nice box in which to store their beads. This is where we get a chance to help. Lou Boudreaux came up with a great design for a segmented box. We cut the segments and make kits. If you would like a kit or want to help make the kits let me know, or we’ll get you one. The task is to glue the segments into rings then flatten the ring so they can be glued together, the result is a blank which is turned to make the box. I have been learning more and more about making segmented items from the experience of making these boxes. Segmented turning is a whole other world that makes most efficient use of wood. Many different designs can be made using different woods within the segments. It’s mathematical so all you engineers can have fun too! Incredible works of art can be created in this manner. To see what is possible check out Malcomb Tibbetts. We have his book in the library and his web site is https://tahoeturner.com/ . Simply amazing! John and Chris will take us all through some more efficient ways to put these segmented rings together to make the BoC boxes and other segmented work.
As a club, I am very proud that we support several charities. These include Beads of Courage, the North Texas Food Bank through the Empty Bowls event, and the Veteran’s Court Pen project. At the same time, we have opportunities to give to the community and have a chance to grow and improve as wood turners. Making segmented boxes, turning a high-quality pen, or making a beautiful bowl. Those of us who have turned for a while keep making things but are beginning to run out of people to give a small part of ourselves- as gifts for birthdays or the holidays, yet we keep making things because it keeps us out of trouble and exercises our creative minds. As far as meeting our goals and the need for the BoC boxes I think we are doing well. I expect to deliver another 30 or so Boxes to Children’s hospital in September. I believe we have met the need for the Veterans Pens for the time being, but High-Quality pens are always needed as the Veteran’s Court is growing. Therefore, more of our young vets are completing their time in that program, getting their lives in order and earning a special pen when they graduate from the program. Additionally, we expect more counties to begin to offer the Veterans Court program. So, the need for these special pens will likely continue to grow. The Empty Bowls are running a bit behind and I would like to see DAW donate 250-300 bowls to Empty Bowls next February. I hope you will make a bowl or ten and bring them to the next meeting. I want to modify the Bowl Turn a Thon for the next Empty Bowls. I would like some of you to join me, but 24 hours of turning bowls is a tough task. I would like a number of members to commit to turning bowls, getting a few non-turners to sponsor us for an amount per bowl. Then we get together and see how many bowls we can make in a shorter time frame. So the basic idea is the same but I’m wanting more turners, turning for less time with more sponsors raising more money for the North Texas Food Bank. In a country so blessed, no one should go hungry and the NTFB helps to fill that need.
If you have aa special skill or project you would like to demonstrate, let us know. We like to have our demonstrators and meeting programs planned well ahead of time. So, we’re getting things lined up for 2024! I would encourage you to do some demonstrating. It’s fun to share what you have learned with the group. Preparing for a demonstration and getting ready to teach really helps to perfect what you do. After doing quite a few demos, I have learned that the audience doesn’t bite. And sometimes the embarrassing mistakes you made are just another way to learn. Afterall, it’s just wood, and mistakes are new design opportunities!
The Web Site has several opportunities which many of us are missing. The forums, the member’s gallery, the library listings, which include AAW Symposiums, SWAT videos, DAW Demos, Commercial Videos, Magazines and Books. The world of turning is available to you, our members. The Buy/Sell feature. Where you might find an opportunity to buy a needed item or sell. The web site is also where to go to renew your membership, purchase tickets for classes and of course the holiday party. I believe the web site is under used. I understand the more veteran turners not making as much use of 21st century technology but our more recent members should find this site in their turning wheelhouse.
One last thought, please consider getting more involved with the leadership of the DAW. Elections will be on the program in the Fall and your help is needed. We are likely to have several positions open for 2024. It takes a team effort to provide the members of DAW with quality programs, classes, open shop and the other benefits of DAW membership. We always need some new ideas and enthusiasm! I’ve always thought that the more you put in the more you get out. Life is like that and so is turning. Afterall, it’s your club! I look forward to seeing you all at the next meeting and hopefully at SWAT as well.