Monday 9 July 2018
Mark Baker reports from the recent biannual AWGB International Woodturning Seminar
The AWGB Seminar occurs every two years and again, this year’s was held on Loughborough University campus. It is a much-anticipated event and typically attracts about 200 people. That said, the people involved in organising and coordinating the event takes that number much higher. It has a trade area, an instant gallery and of course the demonstration rotations from a wide range of international turners. This year’s line up of 17 demonstrators was much discussed. Covering such a diverse range of turning styles there was plenty to intrigue and much to cause people to think. As with all such events, I heard many people discussing how on earth they would be able to get to see everyone they wished to! As seminars are typically so busy, you have to learn to juggle what you see and do at them, but one thing is for sure, this seminar, as are all such events, are so much fun. From the chatter I heard from people attending, everyone found something they enjoyed and learned lots just by being there. I didn’t spot any major hiccups in the running and flow organisation, so a big thank you is due to all the organisers and helpers for a job well done.
The highlights for me are always the demonstrations, the gallery items on display, meeting people and hearing what they are up to. I never get bored at these kinds of events as there is just so much to do. The demonstrations – as one would expect – were excellent and insightful. The display of work in the gallery was probably the finest I have seen, mainly due to there being such a rich and diverse mix, which represented the pure turned work through to the enhanced and sculptural. It really showed how people are experimenting and getting great enjoyment from creating their work. The AWGB seminar, as with all the seminars I have been fortunate enough to attend, aims to provide something for everyone – no mean feat I can tell you – and they certainly do that.
Pablo Nemzoff collaboration auction
There was a special auction of collaborative pieces, which were initially started off/created by the late Pablo Nemzoff and finished off by turners from around the world, who added their own touches to what Pablo had done. The sales of these pieces raised £5,337. The whole amount was generously donated by Pablo’s daughter, Einat Nemzoff, to go towards the AWGB Development Fund. There was another auction of pieces donated by the demonstrators, members of the AWGB and fellow turners and this raised over £4,000 and with a few kind donations, the total raised at the seminar came to £10,100, all of which will be put to good use.
This year there were more than 50 exhibits selected from the instant gallery. Approximately 30 additional pieces were added for display at the six-week exhibition in Trowbridge, which started in September. Congratulations to all those who had work selected for the exhibitions. To see the full range, see www.awgb.co.uk/awgb-2015-seminar-top-50.
Jean Claude Charpignon
Marcel van Berkel
Pete M Jury