Mark ( on September 15th, 2010

I am once again going off on a trip to visit the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. You’ll recall that I took my first class there (or anywhere, for that matter) last year when I built a Cherry Huntboard. I described the activities of that week in a series of posts starting here.

This year I am attending the school for another class from September 27-October 1, but, this time I am going in a completely different direction. I will be taking a turning and embellishment class with Binh Pho. Over the past year I have been doing more turning and I’ve also become increasingly interested in embellishments on turned pieces. The opportunity to work with Binh for a week was too enticing to pass up.

If you are not familiar with Binh’s life and work, it is a fascinating journey. Binh lived through some very difficult times as he escaped the communist takeover during the fall of Saigon in Vietnam. After a very eventful series of escape attempts and a period living on a small island with other refugees Binh finally made it to the US to reunite with his family. From there Binh was exposed to the art of woodturning and began to develop his turning skills and specialized embellishment techniques. The book he wrote about his life and work is truly a fascinating and inspiring read and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested.

Binh’s work is characterized by very thin walls into which he pierces and and airbrushes designs. The objects that he creates transcend beyond functional turned items into true works of art. Binh uses all of his life experiences to influence how he embellishes his work with each piece telling a story.  The pictures of a few of his pieces that you see here are taken from his web site.

While I’m definitely interested in learning specific turning techniques during my week with Binh, I am most intrigued to learn how he uses specific turned forms and various embellishment techniques to compose a design reflecting a specific idea. I would like to be able to take those techniques and apply them to my work – both in turnings and in furniture.

I’m really looking forward to this class. It’s always fun to get away and immerse yourself in something that you love to do and learning from someone of the caliber artist that Binh is will be a real thrill.

You can come along for a virtual visit as well because I will be blogging about the adventure right here during my week away.  So, check back often.

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2 Responses to “Class with Binh Pho at the Marc Adams School”

  1. Thanks for your posts.

  2. Hey Mark:

    The Turning Club of a friend of mine, brought Binh Pho in for a weekend.

    He still talks about this little tricks that have big results….will no doubt raise your turning game.

    Very cool…enjoy and don’t forget about us –give us a twiiter heads-up on any Binh Pho posts.


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