It was in freshman first-period woodshop at Ashland High School that Dan Tilden realized his passion for woodworking. Tilden says he took woodshop every semester until he graduated. After high school, he received more advanced training under Christian Burchard and attended master wood-turning classes at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado and the International Wood Turning Symposium in San Jose, Calif.
Tilden, 25, has his own studio on Dead Indian Memorial Road outside of Ashland, and while he keeps a full-time job at Green Mountain Woodworks in Talent, he reserves Saturdays for his own projects.
What: Harvest Show of Fine Woodworking
When: Nov. 23-25
Where: Oregon Shakespeare Festival Great Hall, 70 N. Main St., Ashland
His concentration is decorative, natural-edge bowls and hollow vessels, made from local woods, specifically madrone and maple burls.
After years of practice, Tilden can turn a medium-sized piece in four to five hours. He starts by cutting turning blocks, which he fashions into cylindrical forms using a band saw. After this, he goes to work with his lathe.
"Each piece that I mount on the lathe is almost like opening a present," he says. "I don't know what kind of character it will have in the wood or what features it has."
Knots, voids, grain, figure, warp and bark all contribute to the personality of the piece, he adds.
"I just try to keep it as close to the tree as possible."
Tilden will have 20 to 30 of his "organic, free-flowing" vessels for sale at the Siskiyou Woodcraft Guild's Harvest Show of Fine Woodworking. The 33rd annual event will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25, at Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Great Hall, 70 N. Main St., Ashland.
Nineteen guild members from Southern Oregon and Northern California will display a variety of decorative and functional works made from local, domestic and imported woods. There will be cutting boards, cribbage boards, tables, chairs, benches, bed frames, a harp and much more. Most woodworkers also will accept commissions.
"We have one guy that does miniature trucks, and then we have people that do tremendously elegant, high-level furniture ... so there's quite a spread," says Tom Phillips, SWG president.
In addition to Phillips and Tilden, participants are Herb Harris, Fred Hatfield, Lewis Meyers, Don DeDobbeleer, David Monschein, Mark Parker, Morgan Pierce, Gabriel Romero, Will Sears, Jens Sehm, Wayne Tarris, Mark Zumwalt, Russell Beebe, Glenn Hill, Delbert Kauffman, Tony Scolaro and Willie Wolf.
Live music runs throughout the weekend and includes Jo Cohoon at 1 p.m. and Steve Berman at 4 p.m. Friday; Ed Dunsavage at noon, Jeff Jones at 2:30 p.m. and James Edwards at 4 p.m. Saturday; and Dan Verner at 11 a.m., Daniel Sperry at 12:30 p.m. and David Young at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Admission to the show is free. For more information, call 541-441-4567 or see www.siskiyouguild.org.