The North Carolina Furniture School is proud to announce our first Women’s Woodturning Weekend! This event has been advertised only by word of mouth and we are SOLD OUT!!! We are expecting 20+ women to attend, with woodturning experience ranging from novice to expert. We have 20 lathes tuned up and ready along with three material bundles per participant for this turning extravaganza!
Four professional Artists will demonstrate for the group including: Beth Ireland, Barbara Dill, Scarlette Rouse, and Kathy Merk. These women are accomplished turners and have graciously donated their time and expertise to support the North Carolina Furniture School by helping us get the word out about this event, and to a broader degree, about the school itself. We send a very heartfelt thank you to each of these special artists for making this event possible – most especially to Scarlette Rouse for all the hard work and diligence she has put into this for us! it is truly a privilege to host each of you.
We look forward to meeting each of the individuals that registered for the weekend – hope you’re ready for a terrific experience!
Beth earned her undergraduate degree from the State University College at Buffalo, and an MFA in sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has been running her company, Beth Ireland Woodworking since 1983. Her business provides woodworking with a specialization in architectural and artistic woodturning. Ireland has been involved in a traveling art/craft project entitled Turning Around America since 2010. She also teaches the 3-month Professional Woodturning Intensive at The Center For Furniture Craftsmanship. She lives and works in Saint Petersburg, Florida
I started carving wood using a mallet and chisel in the 80’s, before I was aware of turned wood. I became fascinated with wood and the many forms that could be carved. When I started using a lathe, I saw that it took much less effort to create bowl and hollow forms than with hand tools. But in turning on one axis, I was limited to symmetrical forms, and it was the asymmetrical, multi axis spindle work that I started noticing that really caught my eye.
So I started exploring this area of turning in the 90s. It was fun, but I was relying on luck to define forms that I thought were interesting. Not knowing what to do next, I got frustrated and moved on to other types of turning.
In 2006, my focus turned to figuring out a way to understand using more than one axis when turning spindles; particularly, to find forms that can be made between the headstock and the tailstock without using jigs.
This body of work is based on the systematic exploration of multi axis spindle turning. It is based on experimenting with the many variables, the types of outcomes that can be made by using any number of axes and the depth of the cut. The ideas are limitless.
I enjoy the shadows that fall on a piece as well as the dance the wood does on the lathe while it is being created. The forms can be chaotic or calming.
The joy of creating something with my hands has been exciting and fulfilling.
My fascination with wood started over 5 years ago when I was introduced to wood turning at the Charlotte Home Show and discovered a creative side of myself that I didn’t know I had. From that point forward, I immersed myself in learning everything I could about woodturning, relief carving and wood embellishment. During my second year of turning, I was given the position of Program Coordinator at the Southern Piedmont Woodturning club in Concord and for three years, I had the opportunity to seek out and bring in local, regional and national wood
turners to conduct demonstrations and weekend workshops. After two years in the club I was elected President and served for the following two years. I orchestrated a juried show at Clearwater Artists Studio called ‘Artistry in Woodturning’ in which 70 pieces of art were displayed by 16 wood turners.
I have always enjoyed working with wood, starting with refinishing furniture in my early teens. I took a woodworking class in 2005 and started building rocking toys and anything else my eight grandchildren wanted. In 2007, I was fascinated by someone on television making pens so I decided I would give that a try. I ordered a midi lathe that came with a set of tools, pen kits and DVD’s. It took me three hours to turn one pen because I didn’t know how to tighten the tailstock, plus I didn’t have sharp tools. I took two classes from a woodworking store in 2009 and I joined my first woodturning club. Eventually, turning got put on the back burner because I was busy making toys for sale for neighborhood people. I longed to turn so I stopped doing flatwork and joined a bigger club in December 2013, and took many workshops through that club. I’ve also had the privilege to take classes at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. I’ve tried to absorb all I can from any woodturner I’m around. I love to pass along what I’ve learned as other turners have to me. I love to see the expressions of people while they are learning something new. I consider myself truly blessed to be able to be a woodturner and I hope to encourage others along this wonderful journey.