Club Projects

Club Projects

  • Here are some of our projects that members may participate in ...
  • Other project ideas on our Tips/Techniques page.
  • Summer 2021 project - Empty Bowls
  • October President's Challenge - Beads of Courage


Yearly Empty Bowls Project -

Successful luncheon on October 15, 2021

AWA successfully contributed over 100 bowls for 2021!

Yearly challenge to make bowls for the Open Bowls Project sponsored by the Sonoran Arts League. This is an annual event to help make a dent in World Hunger by supporting a local Food Bank. Due to an unfortunate occurrence over the past year, they are short of bowls and have asked the AWA for assistance. I think this would be an excellent project for the AWA and the Chair of the Empty Bowls Project indicated that she would welcome our involvement and would advertise the AWA in their publications. We can also have an AWA Banner hung at the Empty Bowls Event.

This is how it works. The Empty Bowls Project of the Sonoran Arts League collects bowls, and other art objects, from artists (primarily ceramic, glass and paint artists in the past) throughout the year. On September 1st they start a well-publicized virtual auction of many of the donated art pieces. You can continuously view the piece virtually, watch the progress of the bidding and increase your bid if you desire. The online auction concludes at the Empty Bowls event, Friday, October 15th. On World Hunger Day the Sonoran Arts League has a final World Hunger Day event at Harold’s Corral in Cave Creek, AZ. Harold’s donates half of their facility space and all the food for the event. The public is invited and everyone who purchases one of the bowls, which are put on display at the event, is served a free pasta meal in the bowl they purchase. It is suggested that the price of a bowl is $15.00 (which includes the meal) but this is only a suggestion. Some people may not be able to afford that price but many people supporting the event pay much more than the suggested donation. When done with their meal, the bowl is put in a bag for them to take home.

Over the years, 1,500 to 1,800 bowls go out to meal purchasers at the Empty Bowls event. 100% of the proceeds from the art auction and the event at Harold’s Corral to the Foothills Food Bank.  The Foothills Food Bank provides emergency food, financial assistance and other life necessities and resources to individuals and families in the desert foothills, which encompasses a 180-square mile area that includes Black Canyon City, Cave Creek, Carefree, Anthem, Desert Hills, New River, north Scottsdale, Rio Verde and north Phoenix.

This is a great opportunity for all turners, regardless of experience level, to participate in a worthwhile effort and put their turning skills to good use helping our community. The bowls can be of any size, but bowls from 6 to 9 inches in diameter and from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches deep are ideal. The bowls need to be finished with a food-safe finish for they will be used at least once for food. Much of the wood in Arizona tends to have some cracks so fill those whenever possible. Coffee grounds, turquoise, or saw dust make good fill material and often are great enhancements to the finished piece.

Here are some web sites that are pertinent to this project.

Sonoran Arts League

Empty Bowl Project

Foot Hills Food Bank

Article from City Sun Times about the October 15th luncheon coming up - plan to attend.

Click for Video on KLC and Empty Bowls Project from Fox 10!



Beads of Courage

We're asking members to turn lidded boxes for children through the Beads of Courage program.  Through this program children receive unique beads that represent procedures or treatments during a serious illness.  For example, they might receive a red bead for each blood transfusion, a yellow bead for each night in the hospital, a star bead for surgery or a white bead for chemotherapy. Their collection of beads becomes a tangible record of their journey.  You can pick up a ceramic "Beads of Courage" bead to be inserted on the knob of your lid at the next monthly meeting.  Find out dimensions and more information at the Beads of Courage website.

PDF Guideline

Videos of folks who have made some unique lidded boxes:

Wig stands for cancer patients

Wig Stand directions  and more info from other Woodturner groups - step by step directions and article.

  • Make a “Wig Stand” for a cancer patient.  You can be a part of a network of wood turners and other artisans who donate the wig stands to the Susan Komen Foundation.  Cancer patients often lose their hair during the treatment for the disease.  The stands are free to all cancer patients.  Stands can be painted or plain – the simplest finish would be a coat of polymerized Linseed or Tung oil, easily kept clean, simple to repair and, once fully cured (7-10 days) will not contaminate wigs.

We try to participate in this program also...

Pens for soldiers

During our Fair Booth days we  turn pens that will be sent to soldiers.

Join Woodcraft in saying thank you to military personnel on active duty and recovering in rehabilitation centers by turning a wood pen during Veteran's Day week-end.  Several local woodturning shops participate in sending pens to soldiers.