At this months HWA meeting we had the AGM. And I got a bit of a surprise. It was the AGM containing all the normal business as usual things you have to cover at an AGM. Such as approving the financial records of the previous year, voting on proposed amendments to things like subscription costs. After this though they had a series of presentations to do. To thank those that had spent the last year supporting the club through various activities. But the first award was for 'most improved novice' and it was given to me!!
It's amazing just how good I feel about being given this cup. I've been going to the club for a little under a year now. Which means I've been wood turning seriously for about a year also. It's nice to find I'm not the only one who thinks I've improved.
Co-incidentally, or perhaps not. This was the first month I had been convinced to put my turnings on the main gallery table, rather than just hiding them away in the corner for some advice and critque.
The award itself:
It is perhaps a little odd that a novice award for woodturning is a metal cup. Maybe someday it should be replaced by something appropriate in wood. However that does not diminish the fact that it is a cup with my name on it! The first I've ever had.
I really like the sentiment behind this award. It says nothing about anyones work being better than anyone elses. The only thing that matters is how you compare to yourself 1 year ago. It also does not mean you're no longer a novice. I, like most of the people at the club, will have a hard time ever believing myself anything but a novice.
As for placing my items on the offical gallery table. It was interesting to see a wider group of people observing and commenting on them. Most people seemed to like my trapped ebony heart. And one of the main questions was 'what inspired you?' It's so important a question that it is on the form you write to put next to your pieces. And whilst my tear drop on wood piece was most clearly inspired by a piece in woodturning magazine. My trapped ebony heart is something that simply arose from an idea to try and have a turning within another. Also whilst to me the join in the outer shell is clear as day, those that commented felt that the grain match was very good and at first were not sure how I had achieved the final result.
Of course as ever, there were FAR better peices on the gallery. And the most impressive was a wooden flower. A wooden pot with several stems coming out at angles. Each with dozens of perfect wooden leaves. Ending in flower petals, bells and stamen. Even including a little bee in one of the flowers. A truely amazing piece of craftsmanship which apparently took 3 months to achieve (I can believe it). This picture doesn't do it justice:
Finally, I decided it was time I step up to provide some support to the club, and it seems the best way to do that is to help with the website. I am awaiting details of how to access what's there at the moment. And then I will look at options. I think that it might be good to do a complete overhaul, to make it easier for the club to post content. Since most are not web designers, I think the current model is not that good for them. I'm seriously considering a wordpress setup, to make it easier for anyone to add articles and pictures to the site. However I shall need to get some opinions first.
Watch this space.