ABOUT THE OREGON ASSOCIATION OF WOODTURNERS
The Oregon Association of Woodturners (OAW) is an all-volunteer, 501.c3 not-for-profit association of participating woodturning clubs from Oregon and Washington. The primary purpose of the Oregon Association of Woodturners is to provide an outstanding educational opportunity to woodturners of all skill levels. Our goal is to present a forum/symposium (known as the Oregon Woodturning Symposium) for the education and skill development of anyone interested in woodturning. Our secondary aim is to support charitable programs related to woodturning such as Beads of Courage to assist seriously ill children, Empty Bowls to assist local food banks and Turn for Troops to provide hand-made pens for US military personnel deployed overseas. The Oregon Association of Woodturners bylaws can be found here.
THE 2023 OAW BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Paul Hirt, President
I stumbled into woodturning when I purchased a used Shopsmith with possibly steel gouges. Hey, it had a lathe thingy and like many clueless individuals I proceeded to "teach myself" how to turn. Fortunately, shortly thereafter I was rescued by the Willamette Valley Woodturners, directed to classes, demonstrations and symposia and have spent the last 10 years trying to unlearn all of those inefficient and dangerous habits.
I accepted this position because I have gleaned so much from all of the previous OWS happenings. The demonstrations, vendors, exchange of ideas and display of art and craft have been inspiring to me. I hope that each of you enjoys this experience as much as I have. Welcome to the OWS.
Henrik Aberg, Treasurer
Having immigrated to the US from Finland in 1983 I spent the next 22 years working for high tech companies in Silicon Valley, California. After my retirement in 2005 we then moved to Salem Oregon in 2011. For the first couple years is Oregon I had plenty to do but was always looking for something new and fun. In September of 2013 I went to the State Fair and saw a bunch of old geezers demonstrate woodturning; looked interesting. The rain during the winter got the best of me and in March of 2014 I bought my first lathe, a Rikon 70-100 and a Benjamin's Best toolset to keep me from getting bored. Having played around with it for a while I felt the need for some hands-on advice. I joined the Willamette Valley Woodturners club and learned to know some terrific folks. Terry Gerros, the club president at that time, offered to help me out and I then spent a lot of time in Terry's shop trying out some of his tools and learned the basics of woodturning. I liked woodturning so much that I soon upgraded to a Powermatic 3520B and a band saw and many new and shiny tools. I like to turn bowls, boxes, salt shakers and I typically give them away immediately. For many of the club members woodturning is a real passion. For me it is a fun hobby that many times has to give way to my other hobbies, one of which is playing clarinet for the Marion County Citizens Band. I currently serve as the Treasurer for the Symposium and the Willamette Valley Woodturners club.
Terry Gerros, Vice President
I've always had an interest in woodworking but never had any formal training and enjoyed building small boxes and other small items. I decided to take an adult woodworking class at a local high school in hopes of learning how to use the tools I had purchased. On the first day, the instructor told the class, "here is the equipment, have at it." Feeling a bit let down, as I thought there would be some training involved, I turned to see a row of old Delta lathes. A light went on in my head, as my next door neighbor (Hans Kaumanns, a fantastic woodworker and an inspiration) had suggested I try turning, "it would suit you, Terry." I asked the instructor if I could try turning. Without any training, spent the next 8 weeks at the lathe with some very dull tools. I still have that very ugly, poorly formed 3" bowl with screw holes in the bottom, that was in 1998. I bought a Jet 12-36 lathe and was hooked.
I am a large animal veterinarian and at that time taught equine medicine at our veterinary college in Oregon. I left the university in 1999, entered private practice, put all my tools in storage and focused on the practice. My tools hibernated for 9 years. In 2008, I built my shop and took everything out of storage, set up my lathe and within minutes got my first catch. I joined the local woodturning club and shortly thereafter, took my first class with both Allan and Stuart Batty. I've taken countless classes since that time.
As a woodturner, I am passionate about the journey in creating something which is not only pleasing to the eye and warm to the touch, but also functional. I turn a variety of items, most everything from fine finials to large bowls. What I find most exciting is the process and exploration to see what lies beneath the bark. The challenge comes from perfection in form and purity of the curve. I continually search for different forms in nature to adapt to turned wood.
Embellishing with spirals and texture is seen in much of my smaller pieces. For my larger pieces, I let the wood speak for itself. I believe embellishment should enhance the piece and not take away from the natural beauty of the wood.
The Oregon Woodturning Symposium has been my passion now for nearly 7 years. It has been our goal to assemble the best turners for you at our symposium and to give you the feel that you are at home in a club meeting, amongst friends and family. Welcome to Oregon woodturning!