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University of Connecticut University Libraries

The Art of the Woodturner

This exhibit displays the work of members of the Central Connecticut Woodturners, an organization founded in 1994 to support the education and skill development of woodturners in central Connecticut. CCW aims to promote a high standard of excellence in woodturning by serving as an ever-expanding source of information and resources to its membership, and to increase public awareness of, and appreciation for, fine quality, lathe-turned, wooden objects.

The organization creates opportunities in pursuit of its goals through membership benefits, shows and exhibits, charity work, and monthly meetings. Membership includes discounts at local lumber and tool retailers, group purchases, a book and video library, and a monthly newsletter. CCW sponsors its own periodic shows of members’ work, and members participate in demonstrations, art exhibits, and craft shows in Connecticut and in neighboring states.

CCW members also engage in various charity benefits. For example, the lathe-turned shipboard items of the Freedom Schooner Amistad were made by CCW members; and countless bowls, boxes, vessels and other turnings made from her construction cutoffs were created by CCW members to support the ship's fundraising efforts. When a much loved Copper Beech tree was felled to make room for the new Marine Science building on the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus, the Central Connecticut Woodturners created a collection of turnings which is now on permanent display at the Branford House.

Some pieces in this exhibit are made of exotic woods from Africa and South America. Most pieces, however, are created from local and native woods gathered after storms, from construction sites, or from cutting done by Connecticut Light & Power and the Department of Transportation in their efforts to protect power lines and the public from falling trees. No trees are ever cut for the sole purpose of woodturning. The wood is all salvage turned to art by those who love the character of wood. Central Connecticut Woodturners are members of the American Association of Woodturners and the Windham Area Arts Collaborative. Their monthly meetings convene on the fourth Tuesday in various locations around central Connecticut. Meetings generally include technical instruction, tips and tricks, Show-and-Tell, and a wood swap. Top-named artists frequently grace the agenda with special demonstrations. Those who have an interest in creating or collecting fine quality lathe-turned wooden objects are cordially invited to join the organization.

Babbidge Library, Gallery on the Plaza
Curator: Terri Goldich