Friday, December 24, 2010

There is a Reason... Turn, Turn, Turn


Hello All,

To every season (turn, turn,turn) there is a reason (turn, turn turn)! Or should I say, "Through every season (turn, turn, turn), they have a reason (turn, turn, turn)". The San Diego County Carvers Guild members certainly embody this sentiment season after season, and year after year. They are currently "turning" through their 13th Annual Wood Turners Show at Gallery 21 in Spanish Village Art Center located at 1770 Village Place, San Diego, California. The show runs 12/8/10 - 1/3/11. The Wood Carvers Guild members are on site from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. daily to greet visitors, and to demonstrate their latheing skills at entrance of the gallery.

When entering the gallery, my eye was met by an amazing array of wood vases, bowls, standing sculpture, wall pieces and hand carved toys. Every type and color of wood imaginable was on display, at least to my knowledge. I am sure the San Diego County Carvers Guild members would debate this point with me, saying that there are untold numbers and combinations of glowing and earthy woods to choose from when it comes to wood turning. In view of that logic, I probably would agree with them. Certainly, Mother Nature's bounty seems, at times, "limitless".


This group of artisans, although extremely talented, have a modesty and well grounded approach to their craft. Enthusiastically, but quietly, going about their work, they are informative and skilled at the lathe and with carving tools of the trade. At any time, one may ask them questions about the variety and properties of the various woods available for turning. Ever knowledgeable, each member that I spoke to, unhesitatingly, volunteered information and valuable instruction on the process of turning, and the many aspects of creating with wood.


The members of the San Diego County Carver's Guild, and their personal biographies can be researched on their website. Each bio is a testament to their approach to their craft, and gives much insight into each artisans creativity, as well as the background that they bring to their art.

Perhaps this is a bit biased, but, I am particularly fond of Carol Martin's lovely hand carved doors. They are intricately carved and never cease to amaze me with their refined lines and compositional design. Her choice of fine woods is, in a word, "exceptional". Nan Bushley is another of my favorites, and is the President of the guild. When I asked Nan if there was any particular information she would like me to write about the guild and the show, she modestly said, "Well, it's our annual show. We have a website". A woman of few words, and real talent.

I think that sums it up for all of the participants of the show. There is no doubt that the members of the guild boast a wide variety of talent, and enjoy an extensive interest in the many facets of wood turning and woodcarving. Whether done by lathe or carved, chipped, sanded and polished by hand, the wood pieces produced by this group are wonderful. Add to their separate talents the beauty and glow of fine and exotic woods, and you have a winning combination. "What a winning hand"! A true compliment to nature, a great accomplishment for themselves and a fantastic gift to wood lovers. There's nothing better than that..."Wood-n't you say"?


I would like to extend a special thanks to Scott van Hoften, for his assistance in producing photo images of the pieces in this year's show, and for his extra time and dedication in helping me complete this review. Muchas Gracias, Scott!

"To every season...Turn, turn, turn. There is a reason...Turn, Turn, turn".


The San Diego County Carvers Guild is housed in Spanish Village in Studio 38, and we are especially proud of that fact. The members are there 7 days a week to greet visitors to Balboa Park and Spanish Village Art Center. You can expect a magnificent array and variety of hand carved and lathe turned art pieces when you visit. The collection is quite remarkable, as is each wood carver's approach to his craft.

Written and posted by Cassandra Shepard, Studio 32
text and content copyrighted, 2010, all rights reserved

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