Join us Thursday, Feb. 8 to explore the art of the finial with expert turner Alan Leland.

"The focus of the demonstration is to help take the mystery out of turning elegant finials and spindles," Alan explained. "I will discuss some basic design concepts and how I develop my elegant finials."

The 7pm meeting at the NCSU Crafts Center will include the usual demonstration time, gallery critique and raffle. Members, guests and newcomers are all welcome to attend.

During the demonstration Alan will turn a finial, "using the tools that I find most useful for turning attractive delicate finials and pendants. I will also share the how and why I grind my tools a certain way to aid in turning fine detail work. I will describe and use a few of the specialty tools that I make and use in my everyday turning. These tools are fairly simple to make and use, once one has been shown how to make them and then taught the skills and techniques to use them to create eye popping turnings."

Since this is not a project demonstration but more of a discussion of design and skills, feel free to ask questions relating to tool use problems or thoughts on design. "This will be a very informative evening so come well rested and ready to absorb a bit of very useful information that will aid in your future enjoyment of turning," Alan asks.

Alan is an internationally known woodturning instructor and demonstrator. He has won accolades from his students and his fellow woodturners for his exceptional handouts and his ability to share his skills and techniques. Alan is able to explain the various skills and techniques required to truly enjoy woodturning with a patient and thorough teaching style. In all of his demonstrations and workshops, Alan emphasizes and explains the techniques he is using and explains the light touch and finesse required to produce his delicate turnings.

He has been working with wood since 1976 when he began working for This End Up Furniture Company. After 19 years making crate style furniture, he started his own woodworking business in1996. At first Alan’s main focus was on making custom furniture and doing some woodturning for craft shows. Eventually his interest and enjoyment of woodturning took over as he began to do more architectural turning and his interest in turning for craft shows grew. Alan’s work is primarily functional in nature due to his furniture background, but with an artistic flair due to his keen eye for shape and form.

Alan's six session plus woodturning curriculum with its companion woodturning lab manual titled “Let’s Go For A Spin,” which was developed to complement his weeklong turning classes at the John C. Campbell Folk school and elsewhere, has received high praise from his students and his fellow woodturners. His manual is full of fun and interesting projects and chock full of helpful suggestions for teaching woodturning. An early version of his manual is available online free to members of the American Association of Woodturners. He has since rewritten many of the handouts and added more photos to aid in understanding the processes described in the handouts.

An AAW member since 1994, he is also an active member in several local woodturning chapters including WGNC, the Carolina Mountain Woodturners and the Chapel Hill Woodtuners. He is also an active member in the Triangle Woodworkers Association. Alan has demonstrated at many national and regional woodturning symposia. He has demonstrated and taught workshops for many woodturning clubs across the United States and Canada. He enjoys teaching classes of 1 to 3 students in his studio and often hosts workshops highlighting internationally known woodturners in his studio. His students praise his patient, skill and technique based teaching style. Alan is known for his three legged 24" tall stools with their crisp turnings and his Hollow Globe ornaments with their elegant delicate icicles. A few of Alan’s ornaments are included in Dale Nish's latest book titled "Woodturning Ornaments."