Career turn

Crestwood women to show work
in Louisville exhibit

Hardwood hobbyists create beautiful wood pieces

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2006) – Sandy Frederick and Mary McKinney became interested in woodturning quite by accident. While on a trip to Gatlinburg, Tenn., they discovered the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and knew they had found an outlet for their creative abilities. After attending the school for one week, the foundations were laid for both women to explore the artistic possibilities of woodturning.

Sandy Frederick and Mary McKinney

Photo provided

Woodturners Sandy Frederick (left) and
Mary McKinney (right) wil display their
work at the exhibit in Louisville.

“I’ve always dabbled in art,” said Frederick, 54. “Woodturning just caught me.” Frederick is employed as a nurse at Hospice of Louisville Inpatient Unit at Baptist Hospital Northeast in La Grange, Ky.
For McKinney, 48, woodworking was in her genes. Her grandfather was a carpenter, and some years after his death, she asked her grandmother for his old lathe. A 1940 version, it was made for crafting spindles.
McKinney bought two heavy-duty lathes and took a one-day class at Woodcraft in Louisville to increase her woodturning knowledge. She is a retired public accountant from Humana Inc.
In 1999, Frederick and McKinney combined their artistic talents to form SandMar Woodturning. They have studied with nationally renowned woodturners John Jordan, Todd Hoyer and Michael Lee.
Both women have work displayed in “Out of the Woodshed and Into the Parlor.” This exhibit features Kentucky woodturners and will run until June 24 at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, 715 W. Main St., Louisville.

Sandy Frederick "Left-Eye of the Tiger"

Photo provided

Above is a sample of the work
by woodturner Sandy Frederick
called "Eye of the Tiger."

The museum is a nonprofit organization that promotes the art and craft heritage of Kentucky. The organization is also partnering with the American Association of Woodturners to present “Turning Twenty: Still Evolving.” This exhibit showcases 23 well-known woodturners and promotes woodturning as a growing contemporary art form. It will be on display until June 24 at the museum.
The association is a national organization that will be holding a 20th year anniversary symposium at the Galt House in Louisville on July 22-24.
There will be more than 150 demonstrations and classes at the symposium, which will cover everything from safety to one-of-a-kind pieces. Vendors will sell tools and woods, wood collectors will be present, and it is a great way for people who are curious about woodturning to get information, organizers say. There will even be a children’s area to encourage children to get involved in this hobby that often evolves into an artform for many turners.
“Over 1,200 attendees have signed up,” said Clay Johnson, who will have a vendor display set up at the symposium. Johnson runs his own woodturning supply business on Baxter Avenue in Louisville. Choice Woods stocks southeast Asian and Kentucky woods and tools, and offers more than 100 different species of woods.
Johnson is a member of the association of which he said the Louisville chapter has close to 90 members. There are more than 11,400 members internationally.

Mary McKinney's "Master Samurai"

Photo provided

Mary McKinney’s piece above is titled
“Master Samurai.”

Johnson, who was mentored by Rude Osolnik, said many turners prefer wood with character. “I fell in love when I saw what he was doing on the lathe,” said Johnson.
Many artists who turn feel the same way. The museum is also displaying an exhibit by Osolnik.
Frederick said woodturning gives her the “ability to take something that could rot or be used for firewood and turn it into a piece of art.”
Frederick embellishes her pieces by carving, cutting and re-assembling, and airbrushing on color. She works with soft and hard woods, such as walnut, cherry, maple and exotics, in addition to woods that are commonly found in the state.
“Field of Dreams” is a piece Frederick will have displayed in the “Step Up to the Plate” exhibition at the Louisville Slugger Museum in June. Especially gratifying to Frederick is the fact that the piece appears on the cover of the most recent issue of American Woodturner journal.

• For more information on the exhibits, contact Ali Shaw at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft at (502) 589-0155, ext. 217, or visit: www.KentuckyArts.org. For information on the symposium, contact Clay Johnson at (502) 587-0777 or visit: www.woodturner.org.

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