Finding Friends to Help You Find the Magic in Turning Wood
CNEW the Club
The Central New England Woodturners club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of woodturning. We are a 100+ member strong local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. In fact we were the first woodturning club in New England. Founded in 1987, we’re proud to say that we are quite well established and organized.
We welcome you whether you’re experienced in turning or just starting out. We usually meet the first Thursday of each month. Guests and Visitors warmly welcomed regardless of experience, age, race or creed. Our club has everyone from beginners to very, very experienced and knowledgeable turners.
You’ll gain exposure to every aspect of woodturning including bowls, plates, vases, spindles, pens, segmented, stave, green wood, carving, texturing, and much more. Anyone who has an interest in woodturning can join CNEW. Please come to our next meeting as a guest and find out for yourself what we are all about.
More club benefits include: monthly newsletters , demonstrations, wood raffles, woodturning supplies, retail store discounts, access to knowledgeable turners, and much more. Some of the recent past demos have included pepper grinders, green-wood turning, deep hollow vessels, Ellsworth gouge use, spirals, segmented turning, carving, surface decorating and Dyeing and much more.
So… If you’re interested in taking your turning to the next level, consider joining our club where you’ll learn from the best. Come and show your turnings and share experiences with our membership.
The Central New England Woodturners is an association of amateurs and professionals bound by a common interest in woodturning.
Through regular meetings, lectures, demonstrations, video library, club events, newsletters and our website; we strive to bring together the diverse interests of the woodturner community.
Our key goal is to offer an organization for our members which provides educational information, entertainment and social interaction with other turners.
Our MISSION is to provide information, organization, and education to individuals who are interested in the art of turning wood.
Our members are always willing to share their experiences whether good or bad, and help other turners with their own turnings. This, all so critical sharing of information, ideas, experiences and techniques amongst our members is what we believe to be one of the biggest benefits membership any organization could offer.
We accomplish this through holding business meetings, demonstrations, show & tell, shop visits, newsletter articles, socializing & picnics, website info and more.
The History of the CNEW
The history of Central New England Woodturners goes back to the roots of the American Association of Woodturners. From the AAW website:
By the early 1980s woodturning was taking a uniquely contemporary shape, but there was yet no national coherence to the widespread activity. In 1985, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, Tenn., was one of the few places in the country where it was possible to teach or study woodturning. Director Sandra Blain, along with woodturner David Ellsworth, a regular instructor at Arrowmont, recognized the need to highlight the state of current work in a national show. They engaged turner/sculptor Mark Lindquist and Renwick Gallery Director Michael Monroe to help jury what became the 1985 exhibition, Woodturning: Vision and Concept.
The show’s opening coincided with a three-day symposium, drawing more than 200 woodturners, at which the concept of a national organization of woodturners was put forth. “With all the meeting and greeting of old friends and new,” writes David Ellsworth in the premier issue of American Woodturner, “it soon became clear that what had brought us to Tennessee was more than just a lust for tools and techniques. It was a thirst for the process of learning. Several hundred turned objects were on view in both formal and informal [Instant Gallery] display–as if the energies of the past decade were brought before us in a moment. If there was a single thought on everyone’s mind, it must have been, ‘where do we go from here.’
At this symposium, Dick Gerard, who would later serve as the AAW’s treasurer, submitted a survey calling for the formation of an association. The first brainstorming session took place after hours, among a group of the symposium participants. The next day an invitation to serve the organization went out to the rest of the participants. A vote was taken, an ad hoc board of directors was formed, and the work began on framing a charter. By April of 1986 the American Association of Woodturners was formally named and incorporated as a non-profit organization.”
Toby Winkler, a woodturner from Groton, MA and his wife Carolyn Kinloch-Winkler attended the 1985 Arrowmont conference. Toby became a charter member of the AAW and Carolyn won a contest to create the AAW logo. In late 1986 and early 1987, Toby made calls to woodturning friends and new AAW members in the area about forming a local Chapter. These early organizers included Bill Frost, Bill Lucas, Paul Fennel and Tom Sherwood. The organizing meeting for CNEW was held in the spring of 1987, with Toby Winkler elected president, Bill Lucas as vice-president and Paul Fennel as Secretary, and Tom Sherwood as Treasurer. By 1988 the Chapter had grown to about thirty members and was very active with demonstrations, a collection of turned items that traveled among the members, guest speakers and full day turning events.
That growth continued, and on April 18, 1989 the Chapter filed Articles of Organization as a Massachusetts Nonprofit Corporation signed by the same four officers.
Today, in 2020, we continue to strive as a successful club with approaching 100 members in our ranks.