registering for the conference and checking in at my Chambres d'Hotes (bed and breakfast), I returned to Puy-St-Martin just before the opening ceremony.
The level of excitement was high as opening remarks were made by AFTAB President Alain Mailland, Jean-Francois Escoulen, and other dignitaries, welcoming everyone to the festivities.
At the first night's meal, which was held in a large pavilion, I ran into Alan Kaplan,
a cabinetmaker from Virginia, who had attended Jean-Francois' eccentric turning class at Arrowmont two years before. A contingent of Irish turners, including demonstrator Emmet Kane, joined us at our table and, with the wine flowing, you can imagine what a rowdy time we had.
the proper use of tools (David Ellsworth and Phil Irons), texturing, coloring, piercing (Binh Pho, Emmet Kane, Betty Scarpino, Marc Ricourt), turning metal
(Gerard Genestier), turning soapstone (Francois Prudhomme), and ornamental turning (Daniel MacDonald and Claude Lethiecq).
Volunteer interpreters were on hand to help with the very good cross section of topics.
Next, the mayor unlocked the door and the crowd surged to enter the church, the site of an International Woodturner's Exhibition.
What brilliant work! There was a great variety of styles and ideas, all of a
very high quality. I found myself returning there to view the work many times over the next few days.
Also in attendance were six other members of the Chicago Woodturner's club and their families, a very good showing for our club.
Over the next three days, 80 rotations in six venues were held. These consisted of slide shows, discussions and demonstrations.
participants, who came from 16 different countries, soaked up the information and responded with their questions which were happily answered by the demonstrators, often with the help of the translators and people in the crowd.
A special woodturning wine provided by the people of the village, Clairette des Tourneurs, was served in the
church courtyard as people socialized and new friendships were made.
Ray Key, Richard Raffan and Jacques Vesery focused on factors of good design in their slide shows, while the demonstrators presented techniques such as :
No matter what language you spoke when you arrived, ideas were communicated as everyone spoke the universal language of wood - which is not to say it wasn't humorous watching some of the charades that were going on,