The AAW, Detroit, and the Future

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by C Edward Moore, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    There is a 13 minute video on the AAW site, from the 2007 Portland symposium, that addresses this exact subject...Binh Pho's tribute to Frank Sudol that includes a great story on accepting (or not) things that are different. Here's the link.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  2. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    Ed YoYoSpin,

    Kindly change me back to NOOB (really). I happen to know Bill G. is armed, and I don't want him to think I pulled any strings.:eek::D

    John
     
  3. Ed_McDonnell

    Ed_McDonnell

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    Too late!! When your post count hit 5 you lost noob and became member. 3 more to super member. Woooohooo!!

    Ed
     
  4. Bill Grumbine

    Bill Grumbine

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    I thought noob lasted longer than that. I guess I uhhh, shot myself in the foot on that one, eh John? ;)
     
  5. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    How about if I change it to
    "THE John Jordan"
     
  6. Keith T.

    Keith T.

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    John (Jordan), Thanks for posting; your comments are right on the money. I think that many turners are not aware of how long many of you guys have been at this gig!!! I remember seeing David Ellsworth at the ACC show in Rhinebeck decades ago, and admired your work in FWW mag for years before I ever knew there was such a thing as the AAW. I think we all need to appreciate things from your perspective.
     
  7. John Jordan

    John Jordan AAW Advisor

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    NO! Thanks. I want a screen name.

    John
     
  8. Garmar

    Garmar

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    I appreciate Mr Jordan's words. He is certainly a major figure in the woodturning family. That said, let me say that this thread as started by Mr. Moore isn't relaying the underlying message as well as I had hoped it would. Average age of the membership appears to be going up, not down. I work in the healthcare field and I can assure you death really will happen to us all. Mr. Moore's concerns appear to be taken as negative, they aren't, he's sounding an alarm. WAKE UP!!! I'm no math whiz, but I can figure this one out. The job of attracting new members is going to be even harder in the future because grassroots america (rural america) as well as some urban areas DON'T EVEN OFFER SHOP CLASSES anymore. Its going to be left to current turners to stimulate future interest. I have 3 lathes in my shop and I continue to interest my grandson in turning from simple spindles to Duck and Goose calls. The interest is there and hopefully he WILL mature into a wonderful woodworker, time will tell. But above all don't be narrow sighted and dismiss a message of concern as one of negativity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  9. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    DEATH OF A HOBBY, film at 11

    I just gota laugh at these people predicting the death of "Turning"

    Why, well, my "handle" is my Ham Radio call-sign, I've been licensed for, well...37 years (WOW, I hadn't realized it was that long). I've been hearing the same thing about Ham Radio for probably 20 years.

    Has Ham Radio died? Nope. Iit has gotten (demographically) older, and ya-know, the manufactures really don't mind that much. Why? Cause the older Hams have more $$$$ to spend then younger ones.

    Does that mean we should not be concerned, and trying to attract younger turners, of course not. Nor should we crying about how the hobby is going to die, when it isn't

    TTFN
    Ralph
     
  10. Garmar

    Garmar

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    I'm just sayin, Ralph

    Word up!!
     
  11. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I disagree. We have more young people in all 3 clubs that I belong to than we did 10 years ago. One of the downsides of belonging to the turning groups is that many of the members early on were much older and you have to live with the loss when they pass on. However they have left a good legacy by pulling new members into the clubs.
    The AAW seems to be working hard to get new clubs started and to train younger people to keep turning alive.
    I think it has more to do with how much free time we have and if we have the income to work at this hobby. I think it will be interesting to see what all of the adults do with their spare time now that they spend more and more time working on the computer during the day and less physical activity. Hopefully they will look for pasttimes that give them a creative outlet.
     
  12. Ed Reiss

    Ed Reiss

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    The way to encourage our young people to engage in woodturning activities might not be coming inthe form of a formal shop class while in high school - which is an unfortunate situation. So...what is to be done? How about holding a Youth Program during the symposium! It seems that Bonnie Klien, Nick Cook, and others involved with it, brought forth to the kids that participated just what fun and how rewarding it can be, and after viewing the pictures, it looked like they had a blast! There appeared to be quite a number of kids involved. Those kids will tell their friends and the ball starts rolling from there. Perhaps those kids will even lobby to have their respective schools start a wood shop class.

    You are correct about the attrition rate...none of us are getting any younger so it is incumbent on us "old farts" to devise the means to get youngsters to garner an interest in woodturning. They will be the NEW MASTERS at some point.


    Ed Reiss
     
  13. Ed Davidson

    Ed Davidson

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    This was my favorite photo from the Richmond symposium...
     

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  14. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas

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    Shop Class

    We can lament all we want about the lack of shop classes. I took shop in school and didn't touch a piece of wood for 30 years with serious intent of wood working. The experience was not a pleasant one.

    What are we doing as individuals and clubs. It is not up to the National Organization. It is up to us.

    Have you done a demo in the last year and showed some youngsters how to turn? Did you turn a kid a top? Has your club demoed in public in the last year? Did you support that demo?

    Easy to say someone else has to do something. A little different when each of us have to step up to the place.

    John
     
  15. Jake Debski

    Jake Debski

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    Our four regional chapters annually participate in the local county fair. We have ten days of continuous turning 9:00am to 9:00pm. There is at least one and most of the time two mini-lathes and turners turning-out, bottle stoppers, tops, pens, etc, etc. All the materials are donated by the turners and sold at the fair. Allmonies collected are given to the Make A Wish Foundation.

    My only regret in doing this is, because of insurance concerns and fear of litigation, we cannot allow the kids that stand and watch in awe, to touch a tool to wood. Some of these young people return several times during the day to watch. The interest seems to exist, but not mechanism to capitalize on it.
     
  16. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I agree Jake. It's so frustrating to have people standing around when we are demonstrating. You know they would love to try it and it would go a very long way toward keeping them interested but we are so scared of litigation that we don't do it.
    I demonstrate with my spring pole lathe at one of our local celebrations every year and I do let kid use this. I keep a close watch of course because the tools are very sharp. I'm currently putting together a treadle lathe that is kid sized and will probably try that out. I make sure the parents are OK with it of course. Still I'm a little nervous but it's kind of like bowing to terrorist fears. I don' t let them change my life I just try to be careful.
    Our clubs have all expressed interest in or are already doing outreach programs of some sort to share our love of turning.
     
  17. n7bsn

    n7bsn

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    A friend of mine that is strickly a spring-pole type has done this, I am trying to get a treadle lathe together for next year... We will see if it happens

    But both are much "safer" then a power lathe.
     
  18. john lucas

    john lucas

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    My new one was supposed to be a treadle lathe but I broke the drive arm the day before I had to demo with it so I quickly converted it to spring pole for that demo. I'm going to make a new drive arm as soon as I can get the spare time.
     
  19. C Edward Moore

    C Edward Moore

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    Thank you, Garmar!

    Garmar, I really appreciate your ability to read! Apparently the school system in SE Kansas is superior to those in Tennessee and wetter Washington.

    Currently woodturning is in a growth phase. I did NOT predict the death of woodturning, but I predicted that there will be a DECLINE as many of the current members are in an age range that does not receive favorable rates for life insurance. My crystal ball does not tell me whether we will simply slow down the rate of growth and reach a maximum and maintain it, or if we will reach a maximum and then the membership will decrease and level off at some lesser number. And the other possibility is that the membership will continue to decrease, albeit slowly.

    While I am concerned for the AAW, I am also concerned for the tool suppliers and the wood vendors. They will do better in a growth period than when there is a decline.
     
  20. wa5fdf

    wa5fdf

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    Ole Farts

    What we sometimes fail to remember (old timers disease), is that many of us don't take up woodturning or woodworking until we are older, have more time(kids gone), and usually a higher and more disposable income to spend on tools. I have talked to young people that would like to do it but don't have time or money.
    I believe that the ranks will not dwindle that much with the passing of older members but will swell as the baby boomers get closer to retirement and are looking for something to occupy them. Our club picks up new(older) members all the time and a large part of the membership are from the local retirement village.
    Vernon
     

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