Category Archives: Classes

Agar Class at Arrowmont

Photo: group_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg I recently took a WOW Factor master class with Nick Agar at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. June 9-16, 2019. Here are some photos of the work I created in the class.

I had a great time at the class. Nick is a great instructor. I loved the environment at Arrowmont. The food was excellent. The turning studio is top notch.

Nick is well known for his Viking Sunset Bowls. This class was something different. It was all about creating turned wall pieces and sculptures from cut up turned forms. I also made some plates on my own to play with some of Nick’s decorating techniques.

I teach woodturning. But, I believe you should never stop learning. It’s time to roll over and die when you stop learning. Thus, I still take classes.

Here is the class description from the Arrowmont catalog.
NICK AGAR, WOW FACTOR, June 9-15 2019, One Week, Course Fee: $800

During this master workshop students explore the potential of the wooden surface and what it offers makers. You will discover form and proportion and will create wall pieces, cut up-reconstructed sculptures, and turned and sculpted solid forms. Participants will utilize power carving, pyrography, airbrushing, and ceramic and metal effects using the instructors signature series paints (all made in the U.S.) and other paints to enhance their work to give it the WOW factor. Open to all skill levels, however basic skills at the lathe are needed.

Nick Agar has over 25 years of experience as a woodturner. He is a registered professional turner, co-author of the book Woodturning Evolution and an elected member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen. Specializing in surface enhancement and renowned for his wall sculptures, his award-winning work often incorporates carving, airbrushing, ceramic and metal effects. Agar has inspired many woodturners with his work and has traveled across the world to demonstrate his skills. TURNINGINTOART.COM
This was the first time Nick taught this class in the US. He plans on teaching it again in the US. Nick just moved (immigrated) to Georgia USA (4/2019). His new studio is across the street from Chroma Craft’s US location.
Photo: walls_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg I created 2 wall pieces in the class. I really enjoyed making these. I am definitely going to be making more of these in the future.
Photo: awall1_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg Here is the 1st wall piece I created in Nick’s class. The wood is really nice curly maple. 12″ square by 2″ thick.

The idea here was to turn and decorate square pieces and then cut them up. Nick suggested cutting them up in 1″ wide strips or into quarters. Then we could rearrange or skew the pieces.

After I turned the square piece, I decided to decorate it with airbrush stuff I learned from Nick. I love the way it came out!

I decided it was too nice to cut into strips. Thus, I cut it into quarters. The original piece is on the left in above photo. One of 16 possible arrangements is on the right.

I colored the piece with Chroma Craft Wood Dyes applied with an airbrush. I used some airbrush stencils from Nick, Amazon and Binh Pho.

Note: 4 pieces * 4 sides = 16 possible arrangements.
Photo: awall2_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg Here are two alternate arrangements of the 1st wall piece.

The piece is not done yet. I plan on mounting this piece on a black steel background that is roughly 3″ larger than the piece. I will install magnets on the back of each piece. This will allow people to rearrange the pieces to create their own image.

It looks better with a 1/4″ of space between the pieces. I just stacked them up for the photos. So, no space was possible. I am going to add spacers to the finial piece.

Note: Using magnets to mount sculptures on plinths (suspended in space) was one of the ideas Nick discussed in class. I decided to expand that idea to mount my wall pieces.
Photo: cwall1_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg Here is the 2nd wall piece I created in Nick’s class. The wood is Maple. 10-1/2″ square by 1-1/4″ thick.

Nick suggested that we could remount and turn each quarter individually after cutting the main piece into 4 parts. I wanted to try out that idea. I also wanted to try a piece with out a lot of fancy airbrushing. Just let the beauty of the wood shine thru.

I was finishing this piece on the last day of class and got in to much of a hurry. I accidentally powered sanded the orange center on one of the 4 pieces. Then I had to try to cover it up by sanding all 4 of them. It didn’t really work out.

I colored the piece with Chroma Craft Wood Dyes applied with an airbrush. The Chroma Craft dyes are fast drying and DO NOT penetrate into the wood. Thus, I got way with, just sanding any dye over spray off the top surface to expose nice clean wood. I masked the junctions in circles with masking tape. That was a pain.
Photo: cwall2_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg Here are two alternate arrangements of the 2nd wall piece
Photo: slices_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg We started the class by creating sculptures from cut up turned forms. We turned a 9″ round bottomed cereal bowl shape on the outside with a small 2″ shallow bowl on the inside. Then we cut the bowl into slices and experimented with carving, wood burning, coloring and finishing techniques.

The photos show my 2 creations. The above photo on the left is the front view. The photo on right is the back view. I am really happy with the way the pieces turned out.

I cut my bowl into 3 slices. I never got around to using the center slice that contains the small 2″ bowl on the inside. It is NOT shown in the photos.

The green piece in photos is ash wood with power carved and burned textures. It was painted with copper and bronze reactive metallic paint. Some areas were painted with copper, others with bronze. Then it was aged with green patina aging solution.

The red, orange, and yellow piece is ash wood with power carved and burned textures. It was painted with red, orange and yellow Chroma Craft Wood Dyes. Then the back and some areas on the front were highlighted with Chroma Craft Viking Silver Chroma-Gilt.

Nick wanted us to mount our sculptures on a plinth with magnets. The magnets allow the pieces to be moved around and re positioned to create new configurations. I really liked the idea. But, the wimpy magnets I brought with me were not up to the task. My slices of ash were to heavy to be held up at the angle I wanted. I had to use dowels rather than magnets.
Photo: bplates_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg I made some 9″ hard maple plates. They were canvases on which I could try some of the techniques demonstrated by Nick in the class.

The plate on the left in the photo is Chroma Craft Wood Dyes applied with an airbrush. I used some airbrush stencils from Amazon and Binh Pho.

The plate on the right is Chroma Craft Black Web-Fx special effect paint, over Golden brand Iridescent Bright Gold acrylic paint, over Chroma Craft Blood Red Wood Dye.

You can see in the photo that some paint escaped under the masking tape that I used to mask things off. In the future I need to do a better job of masking.
Photo: gplate_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg I also made a viking style plate. I wanted to try Nick’s idea of mixing different colors of Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt on the same piece. Some areas are say copper while others are bronze.

I turned a 9″ hard maple plate and decorated it (cut groves in it) with my small and large Sorby Spiraling and Texturing tools.

In the above photos the front of the plate is on the left. The back is on the right. The back is darker than the front in real life. By design.

I kind of forget what I did here. I am not sure about the colors. Here is my best guess. The front is Saxon Gold and Antique Brass Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt, over Green Verdigris Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt, rubbed into the groves with a tooth brush, over Chroma Craft Black Wood Dye.

The back is Celtic Copper and Nordic Bronze Chroma Craft Chroma-Gilt, over Chroma Craft Black Wood Dye.
Photo: wrbowls_agar_wow_class_2019_800.jpg On the last day of class I made a platter (wide rim bowl). I liked a platter with a white and blue rim done by another student. I wanted to try something similar.

I took the piece home to finish at home when I did not have time to finish it in class. I got inspired and made another piece with a red background at home.

The platter in left photo is Blue and Black Chroma Craft Web-Fx special effect paint, over Rustolem flat white spray paint. With Golden brand blue and black acrylic paint, airbrushed on shading. The ugly brown marks in the bowl, showed up when I turned the bowl. They are in the wood. I was not happy.

The platter in right photo is Black Chroma Craft Web-Fx special effect paint, over Blood Red Chroma Craft Wood Dye . With Golden brand black acrylic paint, airbrushed on shading.

The black rim on both platters is black acrylic paint, applied with an airbrush.

Both platters are 9″ diameter, hard maple wood. The bottom of both platters is a roman ogee shape, natural wood color.

5 Day Class at Peters Valley July 12-16, 2019

I am going to be teaching my 5 Day Woodturning Workshop class at the Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton NJ (in the Delware Water Gap National Recreation Area) on July 12-16, 2019. Their name for it is “An Exploration of Woodturning”.

Click here for more info or to sign up on the Peters Valley web site.

There is also more info in the Student Material List. Lots of info, not just a materials list. Click here for additional info.

P.S. My Pennsylvania Dutch Cake Stand was just selected as the “AAW Turning of the Week” on 3/6/2019.

There are no fixed projects in the above class. Students are free to do there own thing. Pick there own projects. Thus students can make a cake stand in the above class if they want. With or without the decoration. Or we can do similar decoration on a plate, bowl, etc.

Click on the photo below for more photos of my recent work.

A Day in My “Winter 2018 Studio Class”

Tom, Scott & Steve with Finished Pieces Photo: Tom, Scott & Steve with Finished Pieces

Here are 3 students with the pieces they made in my class on Thursday 3/22/2018.

Left to right. Tom, Scott, and Steve.

They were taking my "2018 Winter Woodturning Workshop" class in my Studio in Poughkeepsie NY.

Scott was a new student. Scott very quickly became a very good turner.

Tom and Steve are both very good turners. They have taken the same class over and over a couple of times. We just keep doing more and more complex things. They enjoy coming to the class for fun and camaraderie.

Tom made a Vase out of Ambrosia Maple. The shape was from a photo I took in Portugal of some pottery.

Scott made a "Natural-Edge Vase" from page 101 of Mark Baker's "Weekend Woodturning Projects" book.

Steve made a "Burr Oak Bowl" in Maple (not Burr Oak) from page 131 of John Hunnex's "Woodturning Forms & Materials" book.

Future Classes

The Fall 2018 version of my "Woodturning Workshop" class in my studio is already full. I have 2 returning students and 1 new student.

The Fall 2018 version of my "Woodturning Workshop" class at the Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield CT has space available. I have 2 returning students already signed up. The class is limited to 6 students.

For more info on my classes click here.

Scott Cutting Out the Top of the Vase Photo: Scott Cutting Out the Top of the Vase

I took a couple of action shots for each student. I am just going to present them with no commentary.

I was too busy teaching to take more photos.

Scott Cutting The Stem of the Vase Photo: Scott Cutting The Stem of the Vase

Scott with Completed Vase Photo: Scott with Completed Vase

Tom Roughing Out the Shape of Vase Photo: Tom Roughing Out the Shape of Vase

Tom Roughing Out the Rim of Vase Photo: Tom Roughing Out the Rim of Vase

Tom Finalizing the Outside Shape Photo: Tom Finalizing the Outside Shape

Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Stopped) Photo: Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Stopped)

Tom is using my Hollowing Rig. For more info click here.

Note: I have 2 of these Hollowing Rigs. Thus 2 out of 3 students in each class can use my Hollowing Rig. I plan to getting a 3rd Hollowing Rig, if I run into a real need for it.

Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Running) Photo: Tom Hollowing Out the Inside (Lathe Running)

Tom with Completed Vase Photo: Tom with Completed Vase

Steve Finalizing the Outside Shape of Bowl Photo: Steve Finalizing the Outside Shape of Bowl

Steve Roughing Out the Inside Photo: Steve Roughing Out the Inside

I got distracted, talking to other students, etc. and forgot to take more photos of Steve. Sorry Steve.