A Welcome to the Gulf Coast Woodturners Association

Welcome to the GCWA website. We hope you find the information you’re looking for, and join us at an upcoming Club Meeting.

The Club meets monthly, usually 9 am-12 pm on the 3rd Saturday of each month. Coffee and donuts are followed by a 1 ½ hour demonstration by a club member on an entertaining and educational turning topic. Several times a year the club invites a turner of national reputation to speak and demonstrate at a meeting. At every meeting members are encouraged to bring and discuss any piece that they recently turned. This ‘show and tell’ is open to club members of all levels from beginners to advanced, and a rotating collection of judges will award ribbons for the best in each of the various categories. The monthly meeting location varies on occasion, so check the newsletter or the Club website calendar for details.

The Club library, consisting of over 200 dvds, is at almost every monthly meeting. The library covers a very wide range of topics on turning, are are categorized from beginner through advanced. The dvds are available to be checked out for free (just bring the dvd(s) back next month).

As a member of GCWA you will also receive an email with our monthly newsletter, which keeps you up to date on our Clubs activities.

The ribbon winners from each ‘show and tell’ have pictures of their pieces posted in the ‘Gold Galleries’. You are encouraged to visit these galleries to appreciate what others are creating and to get inspiration for your next creation.

Once you’ve joined the club, you can visit the ‘Members only’ Forum Page and read what fellow members are chatting about. Feel free to join in any of the discussions.

The Club hosts an annual family picnic and a retreat.   The picnic is currently held in October and the retreat typically in the spring.  The annual retreat is a two-day hands-on workshop, with club members teaching club members on a variety of topics. Over 70 lathes will turn at once.  It is not to be missed.

Hands on Workshop (HOW) Classes include bowls, vessels, pens, Christmas ornaments and piercing just to name a few. GCWA has a mentoring program that is available to all it members. If you have a turning question or problem contact one of the mentors listed in the newsletter or on the website.

As a GCWA member you will receive a 10% discount on all purchases at Woodcrafters and at Rockler. Simply identify yourself as a member of GCWA at the time of purchase to receive this discount. Woodcraft has modified their participation in this so the discount only applies on the same day as our club meeting, and both companies can discontinue this discount policy at any time.

South West Area Turners (a sister organization) hosts a 3 day symposium each year. You can find out more at www.swaturners.org.  This is the second largest symposium in  the US, and pulls in a set of national and international turners each year.  The collection of vendors alone make this a worthwhile event.  Sign-up early for a discount, and book your lodging early to secure a room!

If you are not already a member of the American Association of Wood Turners (AAW), you should consider joining. Benefits include a bimonthly magazine in
which you can get ideas and learn the ‘tricks of the trade.’ AAW also hosts an annual symposium. Read more about the AAW at www.woodturner.org.

The GCWA is a do-it-yourself club run by and for its members. This allows us to keep dues very low. You are encouraged to volunteer to help at club events. Your constructive criticism and suggestions are encouraged. Contact any board member (their names appear on the website and in the newsletter).

At its heart, the club is a 501(c)(3) Public Charity, and the primary mission of the GCWA is to further the art and craft of woodturning in all its forms though education, community outreach and a shared sense of the beauty of the turned form. We utilize the artistic and technical skills we help develop to support several sister charities in our communities, such as Empty Bowls and Beads of Courage, as well as sponsor numerous scholarships for deserving students in the area.

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