Friday, May 28, 2010

My brand new Presentation for the AAW Symposium in Hartford!

Most of us in the woodturning community can do a lot more than turn wood. To share some of my other interests and skills with my woodturning friends, I like to offer symposium demonstrations on different, but related, subjects.

This year my alternative offering is digitally oriented. It's called "Image Editing for Artists". Next week I will be giving this presentation to my local club, the Rocky Mountain Woodturners.

Am I nervous, giving a new presentation for the first time? Of course. As always. In Aviation, we always used to say that a healthy level of nerves is what keeps us alert and therefore alive. There is a bit less performance pressure among my local friends at the RMWT than there will be at AAW. At the same time the club offers pressure of a different kind. The AAW symposium attendees who come to my presentation in Hartford will be in that room at that time because they are (at least presumably) interested in my subject. The RMWT members are just attending the meeting, willing to watch whatever and whoever our program director (David Nittmann) chose for us. They may have no interest whatsoever in my subject! Add to that the fact that I am really best at making stuff out of wood. I learned to do digital image and video editing mostly as a necessary part of my business.

In this Image Editing presentation, I will be sharing some of the skills that I have found valuable. Just making artwork is not enough, in itself. Sharing my work with the world is what brings the energy full circle, and gives the greatest reward of all. The creative process brings me close to the work in a way that the viewer of the piece doesn't always see. And the viewer sees things in my work that I might not have been consciously aware of. That subject is fuel for a whole 'nother discussion, on another day!

Digital images, in all of their forms, are the best way to facilitate sharing our work with the world. In my case, I use digital images extensively in marketing. My website, printed ads and articles, notices about my demonstrations (like this one in the RMWT newsletter), business cards, show applications, selling on various websites (such as the AAW online gallery); they all ask me to edit digital images!

What I find, in learning to edit images, is that the Computer offers as much creativity and adventure as Woodturning does!

So, please attend my digital demo at RMWT, or at AAW in Hartford. You just might get inspired to have some fun with the camera and computer!. I hope so. See you in Hartford!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wild Iris on the Mesa Trail, Boulder Colorado

I thought about my grandmother while I was out running today. I think about her often. We just lost her last year, she was 102. I was 51. How fortunate I have been to have her in my life for so long! My magical Gram has had a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember.....

The Mesa Trail is one of my favorite trail runs, and this is its best season. Wild flowers are just coming out, the mud is drying up, and the temperature is right in my ultimate comfort zone - 75ºF. The winter chill and howling wind are giving us a break, at least for today.

I saw a black bear near the trail, just standing there, totally ignoring me. I was too overwhelmed to think of getting my phone out and taking the bear's picture.

This patch of wild iris was on the trail that I took to avoid meeting the bear again (just in case). It moved me enough to remember that I had a camera with me (my cell phone).

As I continued on the run after taking the picture, I imagined telling Gram "I saw some beautiful wild iris today while I was out jogging, so I took a picture with my phone to send you in an email." In the century of Gram's life, she saw the world change a lot. I visualized her as a young woman in the early 20th century, hearing me say that. Her reaction would probably be: "you were doing what? and took a what?? with your WHAT??? to send me a WHAT????"

Things that are a commonplace part of my everyday life, were not even in her vocabulary! She grew up on a family farm. They got so much exercise in the course of daily life that the concept of "jogging" just for "exercise" would sound ridiculous! The telephone and camera had been invented, yes, but they were cumbersome and expensive, and not something that people used every day. Sitting for a photograph took all day, and the telephone was just for emergencies, like a birth or a death in the family. Definitely not the sort of thing that a person on foot would have in her back pocket while out in the woods. The internet, and digital images, were not even thought of yet!

Thinking about what changed in our world in Gram's 102 years makes me wonder what changes we will see during my own life. I hope I am blessed with a long life, because I'm eager to see what wonders are revealed in these next 50 years!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

American Association of Woodturners Symposium in Hartford CT, June 18 - 20

Wow! Where have I been???? I'm ashamed to see that I haven't posted to this blog since December. Guess I've been busy, to say the least!

Here it is almost summer again, and time for the annual American Association of Woodturners Symposium. This year's symposium will be held in Hartford Connecticut, June 18 - 20. I hope you'll all join me for a great time, filled with woodturning, inspiration, and friendship! The AAW website,, is the place to find out more info.

The theme of this year's Professional Outreach Program Exhibition is "Teapots". Here is my contribution. It's a Gilded Sea Urchin Teapot, named "Having Tea with my Good Friend Wiley-O". Wiley-O is a cat who now lives in the spirit world (I miss him terribly). Inside the teapot is a bit of his favorite brew - catnip. The pieces in the exhibition will be on display for the duration of the symposium, and then will be sold at live auction on the last day. I love those live auctions! Very exciting! Especially the live auction at the Saturday Banquet. That's where the best pieces by the AAW's most skillful artists are auctioned off to benefit the Education Opportunity Grant Fund. Don't miss that one! It's always the highlight of the symposium for me!

The AAW symposium is a big deal for me this year because I'm an Invited Demonstrator, for the first time. Oh, I've demonstrated at the symposium several times since my first one in 2001, but I always had to apply and be approved. This year, I'm Invited! I guess that means higher status. It's going to be hard to tell, they treat all of the demonstrators very well.

I'll be a busy girl in Hartford! I'm doing 6 regular rotations, and a panel discussion. One of my demos is brand new, and so is my panel presentation. I'll be quite busy between now and June17! More on that in my next post. And it won't be 5 months, this time, I promise!

Are you planning to come to the symposium? Just do it!! You won't regret it! Even if you didn't want to sign up for any of the over 100 excellent demonstrations, the Trade Show and Instant Gallery are FREE and open to the public! That alone is worth the trip! I'll be demonstrating at the Trade Show when I'm not
doing a symposium rotation.
 As you probably noticed, I've been having waaay too much fun with these Sea Urchins! In fact, I just ordered about 150 more, in several different sizes! If you want to try them out, my sources are:, and

Hope to see you in Hartford!