What Our Students Are Saying
“As a beginner to wood turning, the initial feeling of the beginning class was that of safety. Steve's careful and caring opening brought safety immediately to the forefront. He shares his knowledge with students with a careful blend of precise verbal instruction (with articulated presentation software and handouts) and demonstration. Typically, he follows his presentation with individual attention...guiding students with everything from posture and foot placement to the use of tools. Throughout the course, it was obvious (as I am a longtime teacher, myself) that Steve feels comfortable in his role as teacher and guide. Each question from the class received attention and respect...and many responses went beyond the initial question so that the response had value to the whole class. An important element of the class was the equipment. It was helpful to learn on quality equipment. After the close of class, I note that Steve has remained available for questions about equipment purchases, wood selection and particular techniques. I recommend his classes to others...even those with hesitation. A valuable experience throughout.”
Dennis L. Darling, Ed. D.
Professor Emeritus, Music Education
“Thanks for turning all my previous concepts of bowl turning completely upside down ... or more literally and precisely, on its side. Who would have known, or even guessed. You were extremely patient, and really, the entire class of people were compassionate and giving, helping one another through a thoroughly unfamiliar process. What I've been kicking myself about since, however, was an answer Steve had to a question someone asked .... how long would it take you to turn a bowl like this? Steve said, "About ten minutes." I would and should have offered to double my supply fee to watch him actually do so. What a fitting conclusion to the class would have been were we to watch a true artisan at work on something each of us struggled with in our own ways. Thanks, Steve, and to all of you, for a wonderful two days. JGW”
John G. White
Check out my blog at www.listeningstonesfarm.com or my latest imagery at "John G. White Photos" on Facebook.
"Steve is an excellent instructor and really takes the time to explain the art of woodturning to new students. As a student I went from knowing nothing about turning on a lathe to making three bowls in about 2 days. Steve is patient and ensures that you feel comfortable using all of the tools and equipment. He has a wealth of knowledge and I can't recommend his classes highly enough."
St. Paul, MN
"Steve, Thank you for offering the class on basic bowl turning. It was really what I needed to get started with my own lathe. I have been wanting to get started on wood turning but knew little about the tools or techniques.
I appreciated your organization throughout the entire day. The PowerPoint slides were helpful with what we were going to be learning. Your shop is neat, clean and well equipped.
It was very helpful to me to learn and practice using the bowl gouge and the different types of cuts and scrapes done with it. I learned how to process blanks for turning out of logs and what to look for in the wood. I learned the steps from start to finish on how to turn a bowl and did make my own bowl!
It was a great chance to get all my questions answered about wood turning. Now I look forward to practicing on my own until I am competent with the skills I learned, then I would like to come back and take another of your classes. Thanks for a fun day!”
Big Stone City, SD
“This was my first Milan Village Art School class. My wife has gone to many art classes through the years, but it is the first class I have been able to attend. I enjoyed the wood bowl turning class very much. Your teaching is clear and interesting, your equipment and tools supplied are excellent and easy to use, and the hand outs/book was very helpful. You answered questions patiently, no matter how trivial. It has been fun to show the three bowls made and even get compliments on them. It was so nice to have the small class of five students in a wonderful setting. The school has the tools, now I have the knowledge, so I can do more bowls in the future. Thank you!”
“I feel grateful to have had the chance to be introduced to wood bowl turning with such a great teacher. I left feeling confident that I wanted to keep learning this skill, and that I had the tools and connections to do so. The class followed a flow including introduction to tools and techniques, with plenty of time to observe and practice, which I appreciated. It was awesome to see how each individual in the class picked up exploring the different techniques, and supported one another in doing so. Steve was a great teacher, always allowing plenty of time for questions and sharing. He was able to create an atmosphere and day perfect for learning.”
"Thanks again for a great weekend of bowl turning! I am patiently waiting for my bowls to dry so that I can sand and finish them. I thought the class was very productive, informative and fun! I don’t think there is anything I would change. One addition you could have is letting us practice sanding and finishing dry bowls so we get the feel for that. It was nice meeting you and the other students and I hope we can do a grill-out like you suggested after everything [COVID] settles down."
“I drove 45 minutes to Milan early Saturday morning with a newly purchased face shield and no idea what to expect. I walked into what appeared to be a turn of the century school house that had been restored to its former glory. There were five work stations each with a machine and tools that we’re unidentifiable to me. By the end of the weekend I had made three bowls with three different types of wood. I was confident that I could repeat the process myself. It taught me that this art takes time and practice to master maybe years but that the journey is well worth the time. Thanks Steve, you were patient and giving of your time. You explained the process in a way that even I, who did not know what a lathe was, could make a bowl.”
Review of 2 Day Beginner Bowl Turning Class:
"It became immediately evident to me that Steve wants his students to understand the why
behind every lesson. He supports this foundation with a very clean, organized and well equipped shop. He also provides a handy class outline to guide you through the two day
course. Based on my experience, the only tools you need to bring with you are a good attitude
and a willingness to learn. By the end of the two days I feel you should have a good
understanding of how to safely bring your tool to the work and get results. In addition to
turning, Steve covers the following fundamentals: roughing out a bowl blank from a log,
sharpening a gouge, and sanding basics. Overall, Steve is very knowledgeable and
approachable. A natural teacher that uses a combination of lecture and hands on to build your
confidence. I’m looking forward to taking more classes with Steve in the future." JT.
"Steve, thank you! I thoroughly enjoyed your beginner class and the discovery that wood turning is harder than I thought it would be but, more important, great fun. I am not a natural talent but I am not dissuaded—indeed I may be back for more. I really did like it.
Beyond that, you are a terrific teacher because you explain WHY things need to be done in a particular way.
I wish you the very best. Again, my thanks for a terrific day."