Hi, I am Alan Leland, a professional woodturner and one of the many Woodturning instructors at the John C. Campbell Folk School. I first discovered the Folk School through Doug Barnes who was the JCCFS resident woodturner for many years. I took my first class at the Folk School in January 2004 with the intent of experiencing the Folk School and to get a feel for how classes were run and to see if my teaching techniques and personality would be a good fit with the atmosphere of the school. Fortunately for me, Doug Barnes was willing to offer me a class and my life has become more open and fulfilled ever since. I always look forward to spending time at the Folk School, as it is one of the highlights of my life.
My first experience at the lathe was in a Windsor Chair Class that I took in 1989. Shortly thereafter, I purchased a mid-sized lathe with the intent of making chairs and soon discovered the multitude of things that could be turned on a lathe. Then in 1995, my job making crate style furniture for This End Up Furniture Company was eliminated and the lathe and woodturning seemed to take over my life. I joined a local woodturning club and shortly thereafter became a member of the American Association of Woodturners. My active involvement with the local and national organizations soon led to my demonstrating and teaching at regional and national symposia, where I was well received. I started to write articles on woodturning and began to develop a basic skills and techniques curriculum which I now teach at the Folk School and elsewhere. Along with the curriculum, I supply my students with a 50 plus page lab manual that is chock full of handouts on different skills and techniques but also includes many handouts on fun and interesting projects that build upon the skills being taught in the class.
I am known in woodturning circles for my Hollow Globe Ornaments with their delicate and elegant finials and for my very attractive and comfortable Three Legged Stools. Recently teaching has become a large part of my business. I do a bit of architectural turning when I can and design many pieces of furniture that have at least some turned parts. I lean more toward the functional side of woodturning but have a good eye for shape and form and do, at times, slip to the arty side of woodturning by adding color and texture to my work. In general, I prefer to bring out the best that Mother Nature has put into a particular piece of wood and to create an object that will become a family heirloom.
Alan Leland will be teaching at the Folk School again in July 4-9 (week) and July 9-11 (weekend.)