When Opportunity Knocks

I had the opportunity to talk to a very well-known professional turner who boasted that he had never had a lesson and that he was a ďself-taughtĒ turner. And as I thought about that statement I realized that I take and recommend a very different approach.

It is true that we learn by hands-on application, but if we have someone to show us what is supposed to be happening, we can then practice until we get it. After we get the basics down and are able to achieve what we want, then we can modify and improve those methods and put our own spin on things. Occasionally certain doors are opened for us that can have a tremendous impact on the rest of our lives. Very often we wonít recognize the significance until much later.

I turn a lot. Four months out of the year I turn in front of crowds of people. In an average season, that usually amounts to around 50,000 folks. It is easy to fall into a routine and get stale. Later this week, I have made arrangements to take a paid turning lesson from a professional turner Iíve known for quite a while. Why? Nobody can know everything. This fellow has taken the time to study, experiment and solve problems when making a certain item Iím interested in, but have not had time to explore yet. He is willing to share his information and knowledge with me in the form of a class. Iím honored that he would do so.

Over the years Iíve noticed that my greatest strides forward have come shortly after I took a class, booked a one-on-one lesson, or attended an in-depth all day presentation from an expert turner highly focused on a specific type of task or project. Before I turned professional myself, I spent time with several different highly skilled professional wood turners. I always show up with a tablet full of questions which will help me make intelligent decisions in the future. Although I pay for their time, I find my return on investment is huge and well worth the money spent. I have avoided many pitfalls and mistakes I would surely have made without their advice. Even now I continue to seek time with other professionals whenever the opportunity knocks.

My encouragement to you is that whenever you learn of an opportunity to attend a class or otherwise spend time with a highly skilled turner, it will always be a good investment of your time and money. Even if you donít have a particular interest in that subject, you will find the methods and techniques apply to projects you are interested in. There is no better time or place to take advantage of these opportunities than a turning symposium. Donít forget that the AAW National Turning Symposium is being held in Atlanta, Georgia. I hope to see you there.

AAW's 30th Annual Int'l Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia
June 9-12, 2016
Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart

Remember, wherever you go, there you are.
Here is my inspiration for this message:

Prov 4:7-10 NIV
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown. 10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.


This Week's Sale



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The best way I know to liquidate end of show season inventory is to offer it to you at fantastic savings. Quantities are limited and this sale only applies to certain specific items.

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