Events (2017)

Add Media

Jan 26

7:00 PM

 Mike Sorge

Feb 23

7:00 PM

Alan Zenrich.  –  Remote demo
Mar 23

7:00 PM

 Mark StLedger
 Apr 29

9:00  AM 3:30 PM


 Harvey – Myer

The Blue Ridge Woodturners is happy to announce our program for the April, 2017 which will be an all day demonstration and a two day hands-on workshop by Harvey Meyer.  Harvey produces amazing turnings which give the illusion that they are woven! He does this embellishment technique on bowls, platters, hollow forms, etc.  He will show us in detail how he accomplishes his unique brand of magic.  You are encouraged to view some of his work on his website:

The all day Demonstration:

What:  In Harvey Meyer’s “Basket Illusion” demo, attendees will learn his techniques for creating their own stunning  basket illusion pieces. There’s something for everyone in this demo: turning a platter, use of the beading tool, friction burning with sandpaper or Formica, variable indexing, pyrography, dying, as well as designing your own patterns.

When:  Saturday, April 22, 2017, 9:00am to 3:30pm

Where:  Williamson Rd. Masonic Lodge, 3025 Pioneer Rd., Roanoke, VA

Cost:  Free, No Charge, Open to all BRW members in good standing and quests.

Lunch:  We will take a lunch break around noon for 45-60 minutes and each one is on their own, or as a group all can chip in and have pizza or whatever brought in, or bring your own. Individual’s choice, TBD.

Details of Demo:  I’ll start out by explaining the overall process. Then I’ll show how I design the “basket’s” pattern using polar graph paper. We’ll go over some examples and photos and also talk about where to find inspiration for patterns. Next, I’ll turn a small dish/platter, about 7″ diameter. While turning the small dish, I cover both sides with 1/8″ beads from rim to center. I’ll explain the beading tool and how it can be used to get perfect beads every time. Then I’ll show 2 ways to quickly burn the valleys between the beads. After that is complete, we’ll reverse the piece to remove most of the tenon, and add a few more beads to the back of the dish. 

I will show how to index the piece using my homemade index wheel and indexing jigs in order to divide the platter into as many segments as needed for the pattern I’m using. In this demo, 72 or 96 segments are required. Then I’ll start burning the radial lines over each bead. Normally this takes many hours, but I’ll only do a small portion to show the technique. I’ll then switch to the rim of the dish and demonstrate how I burn a weave pattern around the rim. We’ll only do a small portion of the rim. Then I’ll switch to a prepared piece that has all of the burning finished and I’ll show how I dye the “woven” pattern into the wood. The dying/coloring phase will only be partly completed as it also takes many hours for completion. Finally, I’ll discuss how to finish the piece and fix the colors.

Time permitting, I may turn a lidded box and then demonstrate how I can add basket illusion techniques to enhance the appearance of the box, or perhaps just to the lid.

The Two Day Hands-On Workshop:

What:  A 2 day, hands-on workshop conducted by Harvey Meyer where he will personally guide you through his techniques in making your very own “Basket Illusion” platter.

When:   Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8:30am to 3:30pm and Friday, April 21, 2017, 8:30am to 3:30pm

Where:  Willie Simmon’s shop, 329 Botetourt Rd. (Rt. 220), Fincastle, VA 24090

Cost:   $200.00 tuition for both days per student, payable in advance. Possible minor materials expenses (see “kit” below) depending what you may need to purchase from Harvey at the workshop.  You will need the items which Harvey lists in his “kit” (see below). You can purchase the entire “kit” or only those items which you do not already have.

Limitations: This workshop is limited to the first 8 BRW members in good standing to sign up.

Sign-Up Procedure:   Notify Peter Toch that you wish to sign-up by first calling (540-774-4152) or emailing ( followed be a check within 4 business days.  Please make checks payable to “Blue Ridge Woodturners” in the amount of $200.00 and on the notation line write “Harvey Meyer Workshop” and somewhere on the check include your email address.  Mail check to: Peter Toch, 6565 Fairway View Trail, Roanoke, VA 24018. Upon receiving your payment, you will be sent an email confirmation for the workshop.

Lunch:  We will take a lunch break around noon for 45-60 minutes and each one is on their own, or as a group all can chip in and have pizza or whatever brought in, or bring your own. Individual’s choice, TBD.

Details of 2 Day Hands-On Workshop:  Harvey will have with him a very limited number of wood burning units to loan to students.  Students should bring with them a wood burning unit if they own one or they can purchase one from Harvey (see below).

Harvey Meyer’s Description and Details of His Two Day Workshop:

In this two day workshop students will learn all of the techniques I use to create the “basket illusion.” Students will start by turning a platter about 8″ in diameter. Using the beading tool, they will turn 1/8” beads on both sides of the platter and learn to burn the valley between each bead using sandpaper or Formica.  Then they will learn how to use the jigs to index both sides of the platter to a specified number of segments. Following that, they will begin learning how to burn the segment lines over each bead using the Optima 21AEF pyrography pen. Then they will learn how to begin dying the segments by following a pattern I will provide for them.  In a two-day class, most students will finish dying at least one side of the platter. Some may finish both sides.  Faster students will also learn to burn a herringbone weave around the rim of the platter. I will also discuss how to finish the piece.

Each student needs a lathe. Midi-lathes are fine, larger lathes are better, but not required. 
– Basic turning tools required (1/2″ bowl gouge with side grind, 3/8 spindle or detail gouge, parting tool, 1/2″ round nose scraper – preferably with negative rake)
– A chuck that fits the lathe. Jaws that will fit a 1 7/8 to 2 1/4″ tenon – usually #2 jaws. 
– a small pair of scissors (junky ones because they will be used to cut sandpaper)
– a piece of old mouse pad, about 4″ diameter (I have these with me)
– beading tools from D-way tools – the 1/8″ is required. The 3/16” is optional. I’ll have a few of these available for use, but if students would like to have their own, I have them available for sale at cost (see below).
– A pyrography unit such as Optima, Razortip, Burnmaster, etc. If you own one, bring it. I will have some Optima units available for sale (see below).
– Burning pens: I use Optima 21AEF. I’ll have a few Optima pens available for use.  I also have them available for sale (see below). If you have a medium skew pen, you should bring it too. 
– Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens – Colors black, sepia, and sanguine. Brush “B” tip and “S” superfine tip – one of each. About $2-3 each at Dick Blick. 4 pens will be provided as part of the class material fee. Additional pens will be available for sale. 
– Wood – 5/4 hard maple, about 8″ diameter. I normally provide the wood and it will be covered in the class material fee. 
– I will have jigs and index wheels for students to use
– each student will need a chair to sit in while burning and dying. Some tables and power strips are also needed. 
– students need good eyesight or magnification and patience

I provide a “kit” for each student consisting of:
4 – Faber Castell Pitt artist pens – 2 colors
1 piece of hard maple, 5/4, about 8″ diameter 
sandpaper and/or formica for burning the valleys
scalpel handle and 5 #11 blades
scotch-brite pad
The kit cost is $24. (cash, check, credit cards -additional 2.75% for credit cards)

These are the items I normally have available for sale.
– D-Way beading tools: 1/8″, 3/16“, and sometimes I have 1/4”. These are $48 each
– Optima 21AEF 1/8″ basket illusion burning pens. These are $31 each.  I usually have 3/16” (21BEF) pens available too. 
– Optima #11 medium skew burning pen. Usually $20 each. 
– additional Faber Castell Pitt Artist India ink marking pens in “B” brush and “S” superfine tips. $2.50 each
– I usually have some Optima 1 pyro units (with heavy duty cord) available for sale. $95 each.
– I generally have other cords available for those who have burners made by other companies. $12-15 each.
(cash, check, credit cards -additional 2.75% for credit cards_

 May 18

7:00 PM

May 19

9 – 3:30

 Jun 22

7:00 PM

 Tips and tricks
 Jul 27

7:00 PM

 Bob Vaughn. Christmas ornament
 Aug 26

BRWT Annual Summer Picnic at Longwood Park

611 E. Main Street, Salem VA  (Shelter #4)
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Important – Picnic RSVP Extended! We need an accurate headcount for this event. Please RSVP (either coming or not) by August 18 to Mike Moore at (540) 389-5072 or email

Meal details: Lunch at noon. Blue Ridge Woodturners will furnish BBQ, buns, utensils, plates, cups, ice and drinks. Members are asked to bring side dish(s) or dessert(s) to share.

Chinese Auction: Purchase tickets and place in the bidding cups before and after lunch for your chance to win beautiful and interesting items donated by club members.

Directions: Longwood Park is located on East Main Street in Salem near the intersection with Thompson Memorial Drive. Turn into the park’s main entrance, drive up the hill (past the shelter we used last year); turn right onto Monroe Street then turn right again into the parking lot for shelter #4. There are a few handicapped parking spaces closer to the shelter for those unloading or who are unable to walk the distance. 

Map Link:,-80.0509467,335m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

 Sep 28

7:00 PM

Bill Bandy – Basic Bowl Turning
 Oct 19

7:00 PM

3rd Thursday

Jacques Vesery – Oct. 19 – 3rd Thursday

Jacques Vesery is an Artist/ Sculptor who strives to create an illusion of reality, with vision and inspiration derived from the ‘golden mean’ or ‘divine proportions’. The marriage of pattern, form and proportion conveys a sense of growth from within each of his pieces. He has been included in over 20 publications and will have work in ”100 Artists of New England” to be released in the spring of 2011. Other books include ‘Scratching the Surface’, ‘Wood Art Today’, ‘Natured Transformed’ and ‘New Masters of Woodturning’.

Jacques has lectured on design and concepts within his work in France, Italy, England, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and 28 US states at such locations as Journees Mondiales du Tournage D’art Sur Bois Congres, Loughborough University, Anderson Ranch, `Aha Hana Lima- Hawaii and Haystack Mt. School.

His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Detroit Institute of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum of Honolulu, Yale University Art Gallery and The Carnegie Museum. He is a Maine Arts Commission Fellow for 2000 and winner of Sculptural Pursuit Third Annual Sculpture Competition in 2006

Jacques has also curated the following exhibitions; ‘A Nation of Enchanted Form: Woodturning Artists Across North America’ 2005, ‘Far From The Tree: An Evolutionary View of Contemporary Woodturning’ [co-curated] 2007, In the Palm of Your Hand’ 2009, “National Treasures – History in the Making” [co-curated] and will be curating an upcoming exhibit called ‘Playing Well With Others: Collaboration in Wood’ in the Fall of 2012.

Some upcoming exhibits that will include his work are; “Roots; An Artist’s Voice”at the Wood Art Gallery in St. Paul, “CREATE: The Mysterious Art of Wood”at Cape Fear Studios in North Carolina and  “Conversations with Wood: Selections from the Waterbury Collection” at the Minneapolis Art Institute.

See more about Jacques Vestry at

 Oct 20 & 21


Hands-on Workshop with Jacques Vesery
Willie Simmons’ Workshop – Fincastle
329 Botetourt Road (Rt. 220), Fincastle, VA 24090

This is a first-come, first-served event, so don’t delay in letting us know.
RSVP to Lucy Cruise or call (540) 871-5405.

The two-day, hands-on workshop costs $225 (includes lunch both days). Below is the initial information that Jacques has furnished for these workshops. See more about Jacques Vestry at

Friday Class – Concepts in Design and Form – Form vs. Pretty Wood 

Technique is often a distraction to the importance of “Good Form.” Methods to create better form can be a difficult step in evolving our work to the next level. In  this class, design elements, including scale, form, balance, and proportions along with the Golden Mean and geometry of design, will be visualized through the turning process. Think of it as sketching  in 3D. The session will end with a critique of several forms created during the day. This is a great learning tool for anyone, working in any medium, who is in pursuit of better form in whatever we create. You will need basic turning tools, lathes, flat black spray paint and green wood blanks approx. 3” dia. [end grain] x 6 inches long  and about 5-10 blanks per student. 

Sat. Class- “Texture for Color Becomes Second Nature”  

Various carving and texturing techniques on both green and dry wood. The use of power carvers, rotary carvers, burning tools  and methods  to enhance the details for coloring to create illusion. No lathes for this one… just rotary tools, burners, paints, etc. (A complete list will be sent out later)

This is a first-come, first-served event, so don’t delay in letting us know.

RSVP to Lucy Cruise or call (540) 871-5405. Checks can be mailed to the BRW Treasurer, Peter Toch, marked as “Vesery Demo” at 6565 Fairway View Trail, Roanoke, VA 24018.

 Nov 16

7:00 PM

Wood Auction

Don’t miss our club’s biggest fundraiser! Stock up on bowl blanks, pen blanks and all sorts of turning stock for 2018.

 Dec 8 Christmas Dinner

Club social begins at 6:00 PM, with dinner served at 7:00 PM. Program includes a Chinese Auction. Cost is $15 per person.