BYU student wins award for excellence in woodturning

Earlier this summer, woodturners flocked to Atlanta for the American Association of Woodturners’ (AAW) annual symposium. At the event, woodturners of all skill level were able to participate in classroom-type demonstrations, learn from world-renowned woodturning instructors and peruse the work of others.

As part of the event, students were invited to enter their work to be displayed and judged at the conference. Scott Davies, a BYU construction management graduate student, received one of two Excellence Awards for his elegant platter titled “Sunburst.”

Davies has been working with wood for over 30 years, working in cabinetry professionally as a career. He practiced turning wood on and off over the course of his career, but it wasn’t until 2011 that he really began perfecting his woodturning. He received encouragement from his wife to turn a bowl each week for a year in order to really perfect his woodturning skills.

When Davies started graduate school at BYU, he became acquainted with Dr. Kip Christensen, a professor in the School of Technology and well-known woodturner. Davies was invited to audit his woodturning class and the next year was hired on as a TA. “Watching and learning from Dr. Christensen has been important for improving my design and wood-turning skills,” Davies said.

When asked about winning the Excellence award for his piece, Davies stated, “Winning the award was a wonderful honor, not just for me, but for BYU as well. Dr. Christensen has dedicated a great deal of time teaching high-school level students who are new to turning, as well as serious woodturners around the country. His influence and teaching, along with this award, give me the encouragement that I am improving as a woodturner.”

About his piece, “Sunburst,” Davies stated, “It was made from a piece of wood I was given by a friend. I was excited to use it to make a platter. When I saw how beautiful the wood was, I wanted to keep its shape very simple. I didn’t want the shape to detract from the beauty of the wood. I am learning that taking time to design a piece is as important as the time it takes to actually turn the wood.”

The other Excellence Award at the conference was also awarded to a BYU student. Ian Anderson, an industrial design student, received the award for his piece “Lunar Finialscape.” 

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