Every year the Alaska Woodturners Association hosts a Woodturning Symposium where we present Master Turners with International or National status. You do not have to be an experienced turner to gain education, tips, and skill building techniques from this event, nor do you have to be a member of our Association to enjoy this educational experience.
You can either purchase a ticket for 1 day and you can use on either Saturday or Sunday, or you can purchase 2 days tickets for both days. Members are $50 for 1 day or $100 for 2 days. Non-members are $60 for 1 day and $120 for both
A free day to the symposium is provided with each session of classes you sign up for. If you sign up for two classes, both days of the symposium are free.
Hand-on Classes with the Masters
The following classes are now available for sign-up. Please note that each class you enroll in comes with a free day into the symposium.
Please visit the instructor’s individual websites or Instagram sites for additional information about them and to see the type of work that they do. Mark Gardner and Rebecca DeGroot are both very accomplished turners and a variety of topics have been selected with something that will hopefully appeal to everyone. Exact topics taught may change depending upon the speed and interest of class participants and the availability of material. The currently planned areas to be covered are:
February 19-20: Intermediate/Advanced Woodturning with Mark Gardner. In this class, Mark will cover his shrink box technique that was featured in the June 2023 issue of Fine Woodturning Magazine, as well as his innovative method of turning a hollow form. Texturing and embellishment will be covered as time allows.
February 21-23: Beginning/Intermediate Woodturning with Mark Gardner. This class will primarily focus on bowl turning as Mark walks through the bowl making process from tree to finished product. Both green birch blanks and rough turned dried bowls will be provided so participants are able to practice rough turning bowls and also finish bowls that have already been rough turned and dried. Included in this three day class will be an emphasis on tool sharpening.
February 26-27: Beginning/Intermediate Woodturning with Rebecca DeGroot. This class with Rebecca will feature a combination of spindle and bowl turning techniques as participants make whimsical gnomes and textured boxes.
February 28-March 1: Intermediate/Advanced Woodturning with Rebecca DeGroot. In this class, Rebecca will cover the process of making her signature walking mushrooms and mini-aquifers, which includes resin casting techniques. If time allows, an additional project or some discussion on texturing and embellishing will be thrown into the mix.
The Alaska Woodturners Association’s 19th annual symposium will take place on Saturday and Sunday, February 24th and 25th at Glass Sash and Door Supply at 500 E. Ship Creek Ave in Anchorage.
The event will run from 8:15 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday and 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on Sunday.
Advanced purchase tickets are $50/day for members and $60/day for non-members. Ticket prices will be $10 higher if purchased at the door. The purchase of a class comes with a free day into the symposium.
Student ticket prices for those 17 and under are $10 in advance and $15 at the door and are intended to offset the cost of lunch.
There will be an instant gallery so please bring in items you’ve made over the past year to share with your fellow turners.
Coffee, donuts, snacks, and lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday.
Two-day and three-day classes taught by our featured turners will be offered the week before and the week after the symposium. Classes cost $150/day and are an excellent value considering the quality of the internationally known turners that come to Alaska for our symposiums. The classes run from 9:00 am to about 4:00 pm each day and are held at Glass Sash and Door Supply.
You must be a member of AWA and have completed the beginning series of classes or have an equivalent amount of turning experience to take a class. The classes are appropriate for turners of all levels but those listed as intermediate/advanced will cover some more technical topics. All classes are an excellent way to build on your woodturning skills.
Mark Gardner (https://www.markgardnerstudio.com/) from Saluda, North Carolina and Rebecca DeGroot (https://www.instagram.com/rebecca_degroot/) from Houston, Texas will be our featured demonstrators. Both Mark and Rebecca are national known turners who have traveled the country teaching and demonstrating, and teach at institutions such as the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. In addition to our guests, local turners Heather Ashely and John Oswald will do one demonstration each.
Mark was born and grew up in Cincinnati, OH. Woodworking was his father’s hobby and Mark was introduced to it through him and feels lucky to have started learning woodworking as a teenager. His dad had a lathe and Mark fooled around on it from time to time but it wasn’t until he attended a two-week woodturning class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in 1996 that he was “hooked” on the turning process.
Mark Gardner lives and works in his studio in Saluda, North Carolina where he creates functional and decorative items. He teaches woodturning courses throughout the country. Gardner’s work can be found in fine craft galleries in the U.S. and in the public collections of the Yale Art Gallery and the Museum of Art and Design.
Rebecca started woodworking with her father at a very young age and continued to refine her skill through college. Six years after graduating with bachelor’s degrees in Art Education and Sculpture and Functional Art, Rebecca divides her time between her full-time career as an art educator and her passion for woodworking. Her days of teaching Art 1, Sculpture, Ceramics, Jewelry, and AP 3D Studio Art are fulfilling and the passion she shares with her students is the same fuel that keeps her in her shop late into the evenings letting her imagination run wild.
John retired from a career in surveying and coastal mapping with NOAA, UAA and the private sector. He started to turn on a 1950 Shopsmith in 6th grade, mentored by a family of “makers”. Building multiple small sailboats, canoes and kayaks has been a lifelong interest. When not collecting wood and turning he enjoys sailing, gardening, traveling, ice skating and XC skiing.
John learned modern techniques by taking classes with AWA and others. This led to an interest in spheres, oval forms, square shapes, hollow forms, ancient turning and using fire wood. His demo will share his experience with safely mounting and stabilizing spalted, cracked, and semi rotten wood to create unique art
Alaska Woodturners Association
We are committed to the advancement of woodturning by helping all who wish to learn to create items by the use of a wood lathe.
Meeting Times & Location
Glass Sash and Door Supply
500 E. Ship Creek Ave
We meet on the first Saturday of each month from September through May from 10am – 12pm. Click to learn more.