American Association of Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art
Derek Weidman, Phoenix, 2014
Viking-era lathe by Richard Enstad
Backstory and Context
The AAW works to support and educated people around the world about the artwork of lathe-turning wood crafting. Woodturning as a craft has existed for over 4,000 years and is found in several ancient cultures. It is a unique form of wood working since it involves the wood spinning at a fast rate during the cutting process, which differs greatly from other forms of wood working. Due to the age of the craft and the unique pieces of work which are created by it, the association was founded in the hopes of encouraging others to practice in this craft. It was founded at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the two are closely affiliated.
The association holds annual symposiums each year. The location of the symposium alternates in order to not alienate members living on different sides of the country. The symposium gives members and opportunity to demonstrate wood turning in action, display their works of art, and to sell some of their crafts. In addition to the national symposium, the association gives its members educational opportunities, scholarships, insurance coverage, a bimonthly magazine, and a place to display and market their works of art.
The Association is a affiliated with groups around the world. It has over 330 local chapters in the United States, with more chapters located in places like Canada, Japan, England, and Taiwan. There are also three virtual chapters which are online and allow for members to be more widespread. The virtual chapters also specialize in different forms of wood turning.