September 23, 2020
As our name implies, the main function of our club is centered on woodturning. To help each other learn and grow and to educate the public in the joy of woodturning are primary goals. Equally important is the social aspect of SVW, especially for our “well seasoned” members, who make up the majority of the membership. As we transition from the work a day world to the, hopefully, more relaxed stage of our lives we also leave behind a large portion of our social interaction. The sense of community and belonging is an integral benefit of belong to our club.
The meeting space at the high school is open at least a half hour before the meeting is slated to start in order to give members a chance to catch up with each other. The “short, 5 to 10 minute” break between member presentations and demonstrators at meetings is rarely that short; folks are busy chatting!
Along with the monthly meetings we are fortunate in having members who hosts “sawdust sessions” in their homes on a regular basis. Again, the main topic of conversation is woodturning, but conversations often range far and wide. During “Show & Tell” at the monthly members are encouraged to show what they’ve been working on, but at the sawdust sessions the pieces get passed around and problems, issues or accomplishments can be discussed in depth.
We have a picnic scheduled each summer along with a holiday banquet in lieu of the December meeting, but there are also randomly scheduled get-togethers. Members are constantly on the look-out for trees coming down in their neighborhoods and when fresh cut urban timber becomes available the call goes out and a wood fetch is born. Members who have chainsaws break down the felled tree into manageable pieces while others help to load vehicles.
One of our members has access to more than the average amount of felled trees as he lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains. A couple of times a year he will host a “wood event” for members to come up and help him prep turning blanks and stock up on blanks for themselves.
While some people may boast of how many “friends” they have on social media, real friendships are one of the intangible benefits of belonging to Silicon Valley Woodturners.