The Turning Arts Group did pretty well at the Greater Jacksonville Fair this year. In the past we had always had a Undecorated category and an Embellished category, but we wanted to get greater participation from the newer turners in the area and worked with the Fair personnel to create a Previous Winners and General Entry categories for this year’s competition. It turned out to be a good idea since we had quite a few turners with entries that had never participated in the Fair before.
Tom Gryzbala, Gene O’Donnell. Bob Hunt and I had all won a ribbon before, so competed in the new Previous Winner’s category this year. This competition was tougher and the judges said it was very difficult to choose the winners this year.
Tom Gryzbala won the first place in this category with a wonderful oak burl vessel with an ebony insert and lid. This was the same oak burl that Bob Hunt wrote about in a previous blog entry. Even though it was the smallest piece entered this year, the form and finish was what really impressed the judges. This seems pretty ironic since the burls we got from Nick Nichols all must have weighed 100 pounds or more and Tom’s piece weighed no more than a few ounces.
A friend of ours, Les Proehl won second place with a very nice, large segmented hollowform. Les has been working on this piece throughout the year, focusing on creating the accent ring of a series of eagle heads. The precision required to create this quality accent ring was what made the difference. Not only did Les win second place, but he also won the Viewers Choice award.
I won third place with my “Chinese Flowers” sweetgum hollowform. I had hoped to do better, but was satisfied considering the competition.
Keith Larrett entered the Fair for the first time this year and took a third place with some beautiful rice bowls sets. These bowls had a beautiful lacquered finish, but the highlight was the metal leafed and the patina he applied to the outside of the bowl. Since this years AAW Symposium in Hartford, Keith has been really smitten with metal leafing and patinas and has created some beautiful work. You can see some better pictures of this piece on his Facebook page.
I learned a lot creating the entry for this year’s Fair and already have some ideas for next year.
While not judged, we’re now all focusing on creating and displaying new work at the Florida Woodturning Symposium in February