Monday, August 3, 2009

Cindy Drozda 5-day Workshop -- Review

I've just come back from Utah -- 16 hours driving through the deserts and mountains of Wyoming, crossing the Continental Divide four times, (ask me how this is possible), and finally arriving back home with new ideas, new thoughts, and new inspirations!

A five-day workshop is pretty intense... even for me... (and I'm known for my insatiable desire for knowledge and improvement)... Cindy shared so much of her expert knowledge, it was a dream come true!

Days 1 & 2 were devoted to learning proper turning technique -- beads and coves and vee-grooves with both the bowl and spindle gouges, culminating in design exercises which resulted in some very interesting forms! With so many in the class, it was incredibly valuable to be able to see others' ideas for shape and composition, share critiques, and try out new designs with each iteration of turning. Cindy shared her secrets about what makes a successful design, as we worked on both vessel and finial forms.

Day 3 was devoted to making our own Fabulous Finial Box, which Cindy is so well known for creating! My box (photo on the right) was made from Claro Walnut with a Holly inlay and foot. Such a beautiful design, complicated too, but Cindy's step-by-step instruction made it easy to complete within the day. (Yes, even that tiny finial was easily within reach with Cindy's superb teaching of technique!) Another session of group comparison led to all kinds of design inspirations!

Day 4 brought a wealth of possibilities, with the fabulous Cindy Drozda allowing a choice of projects among the group!

There were at LEAST 5 different projects/variations going on at once, and Cindy, who is so incredibly versatile, like the great turning Masters, went from lathe to lathe, easily switching gears to help each student with his/her chosen turning, and effortlessly demonstrating methods of solving any difficulties s/he might have had.

Of course, me being me, I watched ALL the projects, and got a little behind on my turning, but I did finish the natural-edge Mushroom Box (on the left), made of English Yew. (Even though I didn't get to make it in class, I also watched Cindy turn a square-edged bowl, as well as demo dyeing techniques, both of which I am going to try at home!)

By day 5 I was almost exhausted! Cindy suggested I do a hollow form for relaxation purposes, and what a fantastic idea that was! I turned a spalted wet maple hollow form with walls 1/8" thick -- what a joy! (And that Jamieson hollowing system is a MUST HAVE!)

On day 5 Cindy also gave a wonderful presentation on how to "read" burls as well as plan projects using the figure of the wood to best advantage -- invaluable knowledge for us to have.

Conclusion: Whenever Cindy Drozda teaches a class, I will be the FIRST to sign up! Her knowledge of turning is impeccable, and her ability to teach turning technique is nothing short of extraordinary. By the end of the week, each and every student in the class improved his/her technique, as well as improved design in their unique style.

by Cindy Drozda

Far from being a "copy me" class, Cindy encouraged and spurred each student to find their own direction. No one's boxes looked the same -- and through her encouragement of group communication, we all learned from each other.

Cindy Drozda, the Great Woodturner, is nothing short of a woodturning Master. And the best part is.... we all had lots of FUN!!!

Fantastic fantastic class! I can't possibly say enough about this incredible experience!!! I arrived home filled with new knowledge, overflowing with inspiration, and best of all, the insatiable desire to TURN...

Another event of note... I have it on good authority that Cindy will be at the Loveland Sculpture Invitational this very weekend, August 7-9th! I can't wait to see more of her exquisite artwork in person!

See you there!

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