President's Blog

Submitted by Andy Milligan on Sun, 01/29/2023 - 20:54

President’s Blog April 2023

We had a fun April meeting with Daniel Sauer from Crossville showing us how he makes his Hummingbird House Ornaments. If you missed it be sure to check out the video and dimensional sketch on  We had 39 members and visitors in attendance, 29 at Woodcraft and 10 on Zoom.

I want to thank everyone that came out to wish the Jefferies a happy retirement and meet the new owners.  Bob said he plans to spend some time teaching woodworking to his grandchildren.

In May we will be starting a new fun activity called the “Bring Back Box”.  Ron Comtois built us a 6” cube box (inside dimensions) and will bring it with a turning inside to the May meeting.  The box will be rafelled off.  The winner will get to keep the turning and then will be responsible for turning something to put in the box and bring back to the next meeting where it will be rafelled off continuing the cycle.

Don’t forget the AAW symposium in Louisville, KY June 1-4.  

If you get a chance, be sure to thank Randy Fritchman for volunteering to photograph the show and tell pieces for those of us that have difficulty loading our photographs on to the website.

Lets all keep working on our ongoing projects; the pens for the troups, turnings for the fantasy of trees, beads of courage boxes, wig stands, and turnings for the Blount Mansion fundraiser auction.

President’s Blog March 2023

Well, there was a lot of wind this weekend.  I can already hear chainsaws in the distance and know some interesting turning blanks will be available soon.  These green wood sections are usually available at little or no cost as the owners have to pay to carry them to the dump. 

We have had two good meetings since my last note.  John Lucas brought us a remote demo of a Christmas ornament using a miniature tea light and a clock in February and our friend and former member Jared Bruckner showed us the turning aids and a lot of neat little gadgets that can be created on an inexpensive 3-D printer in March.

The display at the Emporium in February was well received and we received some good exposure from the event. We thank Brian Horais for his work in setting that up.  We also hope he recovers and is back with us soon.

For the April meeting we are expecting Dan Saur from Crossville to show us how to make humming bird house Christmas ornaments.  That will be well timed for us to start turning ornaments for the Fantasy of Trees event in November.  Also keep turning pens and beads of courage boxes and wig stands.

Also don’t forget to drop in at Jeffries Wood Works at 10:30 on Saturday April 15.  We want to wish Bob and Cynthia a happy retirement.  Tom said he would have a bowl there to receive cards wishing them well.



President’s Blog Jan. 2023

“There they go, and I must catch them for I am their leader.”Ledru-Rollin

And that’s sorta how it feels to start this year as the new president of the Smokey Mountain Woodturners.  Our first meeting of the year was well attended with 38 in person and 14 on Zoom and included visitors Dan and Christa Greenlee and Gary Dalby and his grandson. We hope you will join us again.

We thank Drew for his demonstration on turning a natural edge bowl from a log.  Drew stated that his health will not permit him to demonstrate in the future and we will miss his participation as he has brought us many excellent presentations in the past.  I encourage everyone to give green bowl turning a try, it really is fun.

Brian Horias collected the turnings to be displayed at the Emporium during February.   The First Friday Artwalk will be a good opportunity to view the display and other artwork.

It was reported that Arrowmont has extended their long-standing local resident discount from the four counties bordering Sevier county to all east Tennessee counties shown on the attached map.  This discount is a 50% discount on one cource tuition per person per year.  This is a great opportunity as Arrowmont is considered a premier turning studio with beginner to advanced instruction.

The board is researching methods to allow Zoom attendees to participate in the Arrowmont and John C. Campbell drawings.  The use of Paypall or Venmo requires that we register with the state as a nonprofit to use the service without charge.  Before we invest that effort, I want to gauge the interest in participation.  If you would like to use one of these services to buy rafel tickets or to pay dues, please send an email to Andy Milligan .

The AAW national symposium will be held in Louisville, KY this summer June 1 -June 4.  There is a $40 per person discount available if we register through the chapter.  This discount requires a minimum of 10 attendees from our chapter.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you are planning to go and I will arrange for our registration.  I will contact AAW next week and determine the particulars of qualifying for this offer.

I have faith that this year will bring us opportunities to learn, make new friends, and enjoy our time together.  Keep turning,

Andy Milligan