Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014-2015 Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Spotlight: Woodturning

Master Artist: Jon Siegel, Wilmot | Apprentice: Colby Weyant, Franklin
Community Presentation: TBA

Jon giving a demo at League Fair
Banister back chairs, maple, rush seats
Demo at League of NH Craftsman Fair

“The development of furniture design for centuries has been linked to woodturning. My specialty is spindle turning, the branch of woodturning that produces the classical forms used in the early colonial period and architectural applications such as Victorian porches…History is what I love about New England, especially the Industrial Revolution—the mills and the old machines. But even before that—300 years ago—Portsmouth was renowned for its furniture. Today, great woodworking organizations like the New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association and the Guild of New Hampshire Woodworkers have brought about a woodworking Renaissance in our state.” - Jon Siegel, Master Artist, Wood Turning

In 2014-2015 Siegel, a founder of the Guild of NH Woodworkers, will work with Weyant on all aspects of learning the trade of woodturning. Weyant is a high school student at Merrimack Valley High School where he has often expanded on assignments from shop class at home. The team will cover tool sharpening and maintenance, efficiently setting up a shop, geometry and angle measurement, and principals of design. Siegel hopes Weyant will master basic shapes such as the ball, bottle, cove, pommel and cinchure and be able to duplicate designs to create multiples. Weyant will be demonstrating what he has learned through the apprenticeship at Merrimack Valley High School’s Senior Project Night. 

In 2014-2015 the NH State Council on the Arts awarded Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants to 7 Master and Apprentice teams. Apprenticeship grants help communities preserve their cultural heritage through traditional crafts, music, and dance so that future generations can continue to benefit from them. Apprenticeship grants fund a master traditional artist to teach an experienced apprentice in one-to-one sessions over a period of six to ten months. Nearly every state in the US has an apprenticeship program that is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
To view all 2014-1015 grant recipients visit