Have you noticed at our chapter meetings that a large percentage of our members are, well, mature. Not old, but a good number are eligible for membership in AARP. And how many of you turners didn’t start turning until the kids were already grown and thought to yourself “I wish I’d started turning when I were younger”?
So it is nice to see efforts to introduce young people to the art of woodturning. In the current issue of Woodturning there is an article about a turning club in the UK that has introduced 600 Scouts to turning. The June, 2011 issue of American Woodturner had a story about the Southern Piedmont Woodturners who received an Educational Opportunity Grant to purchase mini-lathes and conducted a three-day workshop for fifteen students of the Albermarle Sr. High industrial arts program. And the AAW Symposium in Minneapolis included a youth turning program for 83 participants which included giving away twenty-five complete turning packages. I know there are many other examples of woodturning clubs providing demonstrations and teaching youth.
And then there is this young man, Alex Harris from the UK who at the age of 16 has been woodworking for 5 years. He started making videos of his processes and in this one he demonstrates a router lathe that he built. Nice to see young people with imagination, motivation and creativity.