I got back from the Totally Turning symposium late last night. This is the second year that I have attended this symposium. Totally Turning takes place in Saratoga Springs, New York and is a really good mid-sized woodturning symposium. The symposium takes place at the Saratoga Springs City Center (their name for the convention center) and is part of the Northeastern Woodworkers Association‘s (NWA) annual Showcase show. I think they said that there were over 400 woodturners attending the symposium this year. Overall I had a great time. I watched some really good woodturners show us how they make their pieces and saw some really nice work in the instant galleries.
I do like that the two shows are now together. I was able to walk from the Totally Turning instant gallery into the NWA instant gallery. Instant galleries are where amateurs and pro’s put their work side by side for everyone to look at. There were a lot of names I recognized but a lot of names that I didn’t. A smaller symposium like this is a great place to see work from people you wouldn’t normally see at the national symposium because a lot of people simply can’t or won’t travel to the national show. The vendor area was busy as usual and because the two shows are together you will find the latest things for woodturning, wood carving and wood working all in the vendor area. There are also areas for hands on demos and mini-classes.
Keep in mind that the demos take place in conference rooms at the City Center and some of the rooms are pretty tight but there are a couple of tweaks to the demo rooms that I would like to see. Better lighting would be great and bigger screens to project the video on to would be even better. If you aren’t in the first few rows you can’t really see what the demonstrator is doing so you have to rely on what the camera man is shooting for you. With larger screens we would be able to see more of the finer details better. I think with those minor tweaks this symposium would go from being really good to being a great symposium.
Where else in the northeastern United States can you go to see demonstrations from world-class woodturners; the up and coming woodturners; catch up with old friends; spend money on the latest tools and beautiful wood and make new friends? All at a very reasonable cost. I’m already looking forward to next year and I recommend this symposium to anyone with an interest in woodturning.
Totally Turning 2014 show dates are March 29th and 30th.