Join us for a workshop with Courtney Gale on the traditional craft of woodturning. The art of woodturning is achieved on a lathe with hand-held carving tools to shape symmetrical wood objects with precision and detail. Under the direction of instructor Courtney Gale, wooden blanks slowly take shape into beautiful handmade treasures for the home. This course shares the introductory techniques to craft artisan bowls, custom candle sticks, delicate ring dishes, and more.
WOOD TYPES: CHERRY, WALNUT, AND MAPLE
Cherry, walnut, and maple are three popular wood types used in woodturning, each with unique characteristics influencing the woodturning process. Blanks prepared for woodturning go through a unique drying process to remove as much moisture as possible so they’re completely ready for the woodturning lathe. Our blanks are kiln-dried and professionally prepared. Are you curious about using wood from your own property? Courtney covers this in the video tutorial.
Cherry wood features a reddish-brown hue and a fine, straight grain that sometimes contains small, natural occurrences. It is moderately hard and relatively easy to work with as it turns well on a lathe, allowing turners to achieve smooth finishes and intricate details. It's suitable for beginners and experienced turners due to its workability.
Walnut wood ranges from light to dark chocolate brown with streaks of lighter sapwood. It has a medium to coarse texture with a straight grain, but it can also display some figure or grain patterns. Walnut is slightly harder and denser than cherry. It can be more challenging to turn due to its density.
Maple wood is pale and creamy, with occasional reddish or golden hues. It boasts a fine, even grain that is generally easy to work with and can have quilted, birdseye, or curly figuring. Maple is moderately hard and considered easy to work with in woodturning. Its consistent grain structure allows for smooth turning, making it suitable for beginners and experienced turners.
Woodturning is an established craft with beautiful results—the possibilities of what to turn and how to shape take on a creativity of their own once basic skills are mastered. With a background in education, Courtney carefully introduces the intricacies of using powerful woodturning tools like a wooden lathe and sharp carbide chisels so that safety and troubleshooting are at the forefront.
Topics in this workshop include how to choose the right wood for your project, how to prep your machine and workspace properly, steps to mount & turn your first blank, PDF instructions to achieve different shaping results, and finally, how to finish and care for your final pieces. This workshop includes a digital video and a complete woodturning kit of tools & materials selected by Courtney for your new wood shop. It is both beginner-friendly and for the adventurous crafter; the possibilities to continue making are endless.
Materials for More Exploration
Woodturning Blank Bundle
Each woodturning blank bundle features six blanks of premium wood and two brass candle cups, allowing woodturners to create three bowls, one pair of candle sticks, and a ring dish. Select from cherry wood, walnut wood, or maple wood.
About the Artist: Courtney Gale
Courtney Gale is a New Mexican woodturner who began turning in 2019 and took the leap to begin building her own home woodturning shop in February 2020. With a few months of isolation and the generosity of her community in donations of tools and wood, what began as a wood passion turned into Oakenwell.
While working with mostly locally felled trees and scrap lumber as her main focus, making the most of the wood available to her with minimal waste is what Courtney is passionate about as a Sustainability Studies graduate from the University of New Mexico.
Courtney instructs woodturning classes at Santa Fe Community College and Dovetail Community Workshop in Albuquerque. Most days, she can be found in Albuquerque with her husband and dog while covered in wood shavings.