One of the fun things about being a freelance writer is that for the adventurous one, you can end up trying all manner of things you wouldn't have otherwise considered, all in the name of writing your story.
I’ve pole danced, practiced yoga on a standup paddleboard and was even on a roller derby team for a short while. My derby name was Killa Bee, since I was a beekeeper at the time.
Last week I tried my hand at wood turning, a practice of creating artistic but still useful items, such as chair legs or wooden bowls.
Tom Hasting in the mode.
My instructor for this was Tom Hasting, owner of Hasting Coastal Woodwork, who will be one of the featured artists at the Artistry in Wood Show at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort on Saturday and Sunday, January 18 and 19.
The event includes free workshops and demonstrations. Hasting will demonstrate his latest obsession: using turning, burning and ink painting to create wooden bowls and boxes that give the illusion they've been woven.
Workshops this year will include face carving, fire painting and a session called, “Carving a Mouse Sitting on a Shelf,” by Gene Tilton. This year's featured artist, Everett Koontz, will be giving two guided workshops, one for kids where they carve a heart-shaped pin and a second for adults where the aim is to create a Santa pin.
Vendors will be on site selling supplies and crafts. Most of the participating artists will also have work for sale. The show's seminars, however, are free and open to all.
Find them all at the Chinook Winds Convention Center, located at 1777 N.W. 44th Street in Lincoln City.
If the event gets you interested in giving wood artistry a try, there are a few ways you can dip your toe into the water all year.
The public group Coastal Carvers, responsible for the Artistry in Wood Show, meets once a month in Lincoln City to discuss club business and then work on projects. At each meeting different members take turns teaching a technique, so the club enthusiastically welcomes new people with any level of ability. Membership is only $15 for the year.
Coastal Carvers Club President Jon Van Loh is a free-hand wood carver
Hasting himself has different levels of classes and instruction at his Newport-based shop, including short sessions after which you will have finished products, such as bottle stops, bowls, pens or pepper mills.
People who already have wood turning skills but are away from their equipment can also stop in Hastings shop and rent anything they need by the hour.
I refer to myself as artistically challenged. However, thanks to the lathe that is used to turn the wood and the simple tools, even I came away from my time with Hasting having made something that looked pretty good. When he asked, I genuinely meant it when I said that I, ahem, wood be coming back.