I started turning in the early eighties. My father repaired and refinished furniture and custom built furniture. I worked for him and learned how to do split, fiber rush, and lace cane seats. When a chair came in needing a new rung I used a delta lathe to scrape out a replacement. I was hooked. I tried finding someone to learn from. The first three turners I found were complete jerks. They were rude, arrogant, and just plain hateful. I quit interacting with turners for several years thinking that was a requirement to own a lathe. One day a man stopped by the shop and ask if I knew of the local turning club. He was a member and invited me to the next meeting. Every one was nice and helpful. I joined that night. Since the first three unpleasant encounters I almost never met a disagreeable turner. I turn functional items and architectural pieces. I enjoy repetitive turning. I have been President of Blue Ridge Woodturners for two terms. Currently I am program director and have been for eight years. I enjoy meeting others and hosting them when they come for a demo. Most work is sold at Art/craft shows or at my shop. Feel free to contact me.

- Willie Simmons

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