Club History

In 1998 Bob Fisher, sitting in his workshop, felt the need to get together, on a regular basis with area woodturners. New ideas, swapping tools and wood, solving problems all seemed to be good ideas. He was right on then and today. Bob made a list of 7 turners and called each one to see what they thought. The answer was yes, we do need to get together.

Founding Members

  • Chase Ambler (passed October 2008)
  • Jack Edmonston, Vice President
  • Jerry Edmonston, Secretary
  • Bob Fisher, Treasurer (passed July 2009)
  • Lee Holt, Passed February 2012
  • John Hill, President
  • Bob VanStee (now lives in Florida)
  • Kemp Williams (passed November 2005)


  • September 16, 1999 First meeting in Bob Fisher’s garage/studio
  • Started with 8 members
  • December 19, 1999 100 attended first meeting, 70 joined.
  • February 2000 96 paid members
  • December 2000 151 paid members
  • July 2002 211 paid members (one of the top five clubs in AAW)
  • April 2003 298 paid members (became the largest club in AAW)
  • August 2005 377 paid members
  • 2008: 325
  • 2009: 338
  • 2010: 301
  • 2011: 315

Out of Bob Fisher’s desire to talk with other turners became the Carolina Mountain Woodturners group . . . today a full-fledged not-for-profit corporation in the state of North Carolina. An aggressive education program is well in place, world renowned turners present day long demonstrations, the meetings are held, not in individual workshops but at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the adage 'build it and they will come' has been proven once again.

Past Presidents

  • John Hill 2000 – 2003
  • Warren Carpenter 2004 – 2006
  • Joe Ruminski 2007
  • Mike Fiantaca 2008 – 2009
  • Tucker Garrison 2010-2011

President’s Award for Volunteer Service:

  • March 2004 John Hill voted Director Emeritus
  • May 2004 Paul Vonk
  • June 2004 Lee Holt
  • July 2004 Bob Fisher
  • August 2004 Pat and Jim McPhail
  • March 2005 Carlos Kennedy
  • October 2009 Warren Carpenter voted Director Emeritus

Volunteer Plaques Awarded

  • December 2007 Pat McPhail
  • December 2007 Bob Heltman
  • February 2008 Martin Isetts
  • January 2012 Mike Fiantaca for his work on the CMW website and Mike Chandler for his work on the CMW video system.


  • September 16, 1999 John Hill negotiates lease with Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Blue Ridge Park Service – use of the FAC auditorium at no cost while providing monthly woodturning demonstrations.
  • October 20, 1999 First By-Laws signed
  • October 29, 1999 CMW accepted as AAW chapter
  • December 18, 1999 First meeting held at Folk Art Center in Asheville, NC. Invitation letters were sent to all AAW members within three hours of Asheville. Public service announcements placed in 28 newspapers and radio stations.
  • December 18, 1999 Stoney Lamar donated a sculptural piece. Raffle tickets were sold and raised $2,500.00 – Ray Jones won. Monies used to order stubby lathe.
  • 2000 Established “Above and Beyond” to recognized those members contributing above membership amount.
  • March 2000 Stubby lathe was delivered from John Jordan – cost $3,500.00 (substantial discount).
  • April 2000 Stubby lathe first used by Rudy Osolnik
  • 2001 First Annual Auction held
  • October 2001 By-Laws passed approving 501(c)3 status
  • July 2002 Bob Gunther’s first demonstrator write-up published in CMW newsletter
  • March 2003 Second video camera added – stated were “Going Hollywood”
  • 2003 Participated in first “Festival of Trees” for Hospice. Became and annual event
  • October 2003 John Hill elected to AAW Board of Directors
  • 2003 – 2004 Participated in Charlotte Woodworking Show
  • April 2004 Board of Directors voted John Hill, Director Emeritus status
  • 2004 Participated in “Freedom Pen Project” with over 500 pens made and sent to our troops
  • August 2004 CMW Message Board linked to database to allow creation of membership e-mails
  • February 2005 Added student membership at $10.00 per year
  • February 2005 Cabinets made for the large monitors
  • March 2005 CMW Library bar-coding project completed
  • July 2005 Paul Vonk – CMW web-master received AAW Recognition Award
  • August 2005 Turning Learning Center trailer and equipment used for first time. Founders: Joe Ruminski and Warren Carpenter. Logo designed by Jim McPhail.
  • October 2005 CMW participates in their first Klingspor’s Extravaganza with TLC classes
  • 2006: Mike Fiantaca appointed as CMW Webmaster
  • January 25, 2007 Endowment papers signed. First trustees of fund: John Hill, Warren Carpenter, and Jack Hastings
  • May 2007 Joe Ruminski presents “Teach the Teacher” class
  • October 2007 CMW along with Charlotte Woodturners, NC Woodturners, Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association, Southern Piedmont Woodturners, Wilmington Area Woodturners Association, and Woodturners Guild of NC collaborate on first biennial NC Woodturning Symposium held in Greensboro, NC.
  • October 2007 First Woodturners Studio Tour held. Organized by Gary Bills and four studios were on the tour.
  • October 2007 Rebecca Carroll Hettrick was selected to participate in the AAW “Turning to the future” show in the ten and under category.
  • October 2008 First Annual CMW Picnic organized by Gary Bills
  • July 2008 Anthony Napoli found the “Demonstrators Evaluation” form on the AAW web-site, updated and presented it to the Board for approval. It was passed. December 2008 Demonstrators Evaluation form used for first time - Keith Tompkins was the demonstrator.
  • October 2009 Second Annual CMW Picnic organized and run by Gary Bills
  • October 2009 Second NC woodturning Syposium held in Greensboro, NC
  • 2010: Upgrade to Demonstration Video System Project coordinated by Mike Chandler
  • 2010: Added “In Memoriam” page to CMW Website
  • 2010 July: Tucker Garrison recognized at AAW Symposium as an “Emerging Artist”
  • 2011 July: John Hill designated as Honorary Lifetime Member of the AAW.
  • 2011: New Cabinets built for Library DVDs and Books coordinated by Don Rose
  • 2011: Upgrade Website Project coordinated by Mike Fiantaca
  • 2011 June, July, August: Three Woodturning Exhibits in Asheville, NC. Members work included in exhibits: Tucker Garrison, Alan Hollar, Darrell Copeland, and Jim McPhail.
  • 2011 June, July, August: TLC Woodturning--four day demonstrations at the NC Arboretum.
  • 2011 June: Chapter Project: Contributed bowls to the AAW Symposium Empty Bowls Project
  • 2011 November: Participated in Third NC Woodturning Symposium held in Greensboro, NC , coordinated by Bob Gunther.


  • September 1999 Ruth Sommers with the Southern Highland
  • Craft Guild raised funds (most notably from
  • Robyn Horn) for paying demonstrators. $5000.00
  • December 1999 John Hill donates to start the CMW Library $500.00
  • December 1999 Ray Jones $100.00
  • October 2001 Ed Anderson ?
  • October 2001 Joe Helms ?
  • November 2001 Anonymous (later revealed Owen Burley – illness, sold shop) $10,000.00
  • September 2002 Triangle Woodturners $400.00 (toward starting endowment fund)
  • December 2007 Paul O’Connell (trustee of Thoresen Foundation) $10,000.00