Woodturners of South West Florida
Session 1 of 4
for 11 to 18 year-old students
 Spreading the fascination
to a younger generation!

Bob Gerald presents safety and lathe operation instructions.

Dylan and Sam prepare for hands-on portion 
of class.


Dylan makes his first cuts!

And Sam makes more!

Susan, Sam & Dylan's mother, 
decides it looks like fun, so she gives it a try.

They all caught on quickly, 
and enjoyed making chips fly.

Mushrooms, and bead & cove totems, 
were the end result.

The happy crew promised to return 
for Session #2 - Tops!


This was Session # 1 of our 4-Session set of  free classes for students aged 11 to 18. 

Classes will be held on Saturday mornings in October of 2003, and again in January and March of 2004.

If you know of an interested student in the Ft. Myers area, please contact Program Director Bob Gerald at bobg@sprintmail.com, or Club President Barry Finver at bfinver@aol.com for registration information.

It is our goal to introduce the joy of woodturning to as many young adults, 
male and female, as possible through this program funded by a grant through the generosity of the City of Ft. Myers.

On to Lesson #2

On October 4, members of the Woodturners of SouthWest Florida held the first of four Saturday morning classes to introduce the fascinating art of woodturning to teens in the Fort Myers area. Talented volunteers at all skill levels will work closely with the students, to help them gain confidence and familiarity with woodturning tools, bringing an appreciation of the art and beauty of woodturning to the next generation.

Supported by a grant from the City of Fort Myers, the classes are being held in the woodshop at the Riverside Community Center on East Riverside Drive. In their first class, teens from ages 11 through 18 were instructed in the fundamentals of safe tool handling and the proper use of a woodworking lathe, and were turning their first works of art within short order. Based on a schedule of short lessons interspersed with opportunities to try “first hand” the basic techniques used in this centuries-old craft, the students were captivated by the possibilities opening up before them.

These training classes will be held again in the winter and spring of 2004, in an effort to involve as many young people as possible. Program coordinator Bob Gerald is working closely with officials involved with youth programs in the City of Fort Myers to spread the word, so that a wide ranging group of young adults can be accommodated in the near future.

As schools are rapidly curtailing the “non-essential” industrial arts courses due to budgetary constraints, programs such as this become more important to the development of artistic and creative talents. Opportunities to experience the traditional supervised apprenticeship in a creative trade have become quite rare, and this program helps to fill that void.

Volunteers from the WSWF for the first week's class included Bob Gerald, Sy Plonsky, John Gerald, Frank & Cheri Bauer, Phil Morgan, and Ernie Dunning.
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