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Exploring the Unknown with the Known: Master Woodturning

July 21 - 26, 2024

David Ellsworth  ·  ellsworthstudios.com

Master Woodturning Workshop

Workshop at a glance


This is an opportunity to explore open bowls and hollow forms from a more advanced level than most woodturning workshops.


  • Thorough use of the Ellsworth Signature Gouge
  • Thorough use of the Ellsworth hollowing tools


  • Gouges
  • Wood logs (poplar, maple)
  • Ellsworth Sharpening Jig
  • Assortment of bent and straight following tools


  • Knowledge, experience, methods and procedures in brining logs and half logs to the lathe to make vessel forms
  • Complete use of roughing, slicing, scraping, shear-scraping, interior finishing cuts with Ellsworth Signature Gouge
  • Backwards slicing and backward shear-scraping cuts to get a superior finish prior to sanding

Artist Bio

David Ellsworth operates a private school of woodturning at his studio in Weaverville, North Carolina. He has become known as one of the premier designers of hollow wooden vessel forms. Ellsworth is a fellow and former trustee of the American Craft Council and received the prestigious Master of the Medium award in wood. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Membership Award from the American Association of Woodturners. He authored Ellsworth on Woodturning: How a Master Creates Bowls, Pots, and Vessels, created a personal line of DVD tutorials, “The Ellsworth Library of Tutorial Videos/DVDs on Woodturning,”  and designed his own line of hollow turning tools and sharpening jigs. David has been an instructor at Arrowmont for over 30 years. In 2021, Ellsworth received the 2021 Visionary Award from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

  • David Ellsworth
  • David Ellsworth
  • David Ellsworth
  • David Ellsworth
  • David Ellsworth
  • David Ellsworth

Workshop Description

In this workshop, the emphasis will be on a balance between technique and design. We’ll look at the work of forty plus professional turners, from their early influences to their more recent works, to observe how they incorporated those influences into their work. We’ll explore tool designs and their use, in particular the Ellsworth Signature Gouge and Ellsworth Hollowing Tools. The intent of this Master Class is to encourage students to use their skills and experiences to explore areas of the unknown with equal weight as the known within their work. This will include ideas they may have considered but were unable, unwilling or even afraid to pursue. We will tackle such terms as ‘design’, ‘creativity’ and ‘finding one’s own voice, and will refine existing techniques to emphasize the value of process in pursuit of product. Students are encouraged to listen to David’s recent interview from Digital Production Buzz in the interview section of David’s website. Students are encouraged to bring their own tools (if possible), although the school will provide tools. David will have his own tools available for sale and usage while in class. Open to intermediate-advanced and advanced level woodturners.


The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is a priority at Arrowmont. To that end, a Personal Conduct & Social Distancing Policy has been adopted to foster a safe learning environment during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here for the detailed Policy.


In order to complete your registration, a $300 deposit is required.

Call 865-436-5860 with questions about registering for this workshop.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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