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Frozen In Time: A Tradition Of Wood Turning [VIDEO]

ST. CLOUD — The Paramount Visual Arts Center in St. Cloud has been introducing teens and members of the community to an art form that dates back to 1300 B.C.

The organization applied for an Educational Outreach Grant three years ago that allowed them to buy the tools and equipment needed to practice wood turning.

Jerry Wervey is a wood turning instructor. He says he started turning wood in 2011 and has been doing it ever since.

Wervey says many people associate wood turning with pottery. You have a wheel that turns around but it’s level with the ground. The wheel is commonly run by a motor. Two points hold the wood in place to create three basic shapes.

Beginners start out making between centers which are commonly known as chair legs and spindles.  Once you’ve mastered the between centers you can advance to turning platters and bowls.

Wervey says the best type of wood for turning is green wood or log wood that is soft and wet. Wervey says dry and hard wood is difficult to work with.

Every Thursday night is teen night from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center. Wervey says kids ages 13 and older are encouraged to learn about wood turning for free.

Teens start off making the basics, a cylinder or what the organization calls a “mini baseball bat” that they can take home with them. Wervey says once they are comfortable with that they can move on to more difficult projects. It usually takes the kids an entire night to complete the mini baseball bat.

Wervey says he learns new techniques every day and still has his first wood turning project, “it looks ugly, my wife likes it and won’t let me get rid of it. She keeps it around the house.”

See More Of Our Frozen In Time Series

Ashli Gerdes, WJON News

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