Who We Are
In some respects, the Woodturner is a lonely sort of critter, a little bit of a hermit at heart. The lathe makes enough noise that conversation is very much out of the picture. Concentration is such that one tends to become connected with the project of the moment rather than in tune with another person. Perhaps the opportunity to focus on the creation of something, even a flight of fancy, thereby cleansing the mind and satisfying that creative urge, is one of the attractions that draws people to this craft. But even though the appearance is that of a recluse, we are all social animals as well.
A fellow named Ian Waymark saw the beginnings of the Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild. Individuals came to him for the tools that he imported essentially for this craft alone. He recognized that each one went away to a little home-based shop and worked in silence, picking up the odd trick of the trade here and there but never really enjoying the full potential of woodturning. Ian would hold “turning” demonstrations to promote his wares. A regular little group began to show up interested not only in buying but also in learning. One day, he gave each person in that group a call (a good storekeeper has a list of customers names and phone numbers) and suggested that everyone get together and talk about starting a club.
In December 1988, those attending the meeting endorsed the idea of starting a club and promptly elected an executive. There weren’t that many club members in December 1988 but to date most of the original members continue to participate. Now, FVWG.ca keeps some seventy members in touch between meetings that are attended by about forty to fifty members monthly. This group serves very well the woodturning community in the Fraser Valley area.
What We Do
The long-term goal is for every member to learn skills that may have been long forgotten and to pick up new techniques in the craft.
The skill level of most of the members has improved unbelievably. As with many crafts, the beginner is often defeated by things that later seem to be terribly basic. In a group, beginning turners are helped over these hurdles.
Those who have a little more experience are also challenged to extend their abilities so they don’t remain static. This is accomplished by learning from each other and bringing in notable turners, who generally delight in showing off their particular areas of expertise.
If your curiosity has got you this far, then now is the time to explain a bit about the Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild. Membership ranges from novice to expert in the craft. The FVWG meets in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada. (British Columbia is the most western province of Canada.)
Membership fees are forty dollars Canadian per year. No meetings are scheduled in July or August. The meetings are relaxed and informal with featured guest instructors, videos, “show & tell”, ad hoc competitions and quite a bit of idea sharing. Skilled demonstrators and informative articles are always welcome.
One perspective on woodturning is that it is a craft wherein a project is normally started and finished on one machine (and often in one session as well). Not only that, but the wood is normally free (the neighbor’s dying cherry tree) compared to a hefty bill for most decent lumber needed for other projects.
If this piques your interest, e-mail one of the executive or attend a meeting first then you’ll definitely want to become a member. Everyone learns something at the meetings and has fun in the process.
If you have any further questions about the Fraser Valley Woodturners Guild please use the Contacts page.
The FVWG encourages e-mail or comments on FVWG.ca from anyone who wishes to share relevant information or woodturning experiences.