Download This! Woodturning and Artisanry Featured at Free Georgetown Festival

woodturner demonstrations

Woodturners will demonstrate at Tudor Place, Saturday.


contact: Mandy Katz Washington DC 20007
cellphone: 202.486.7645

WASHINGTON, DC – Don’t expect flat screens or Google Glass at the free public festival in Georgetown this Saturday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In fact, protective goggles may be the only unusual eyewear on hand at the first Tudor Place Tree Fest, on the grounds of Tudor Place Historic House & Garden. The outdoor, rain-or-shine event celebrates the tree canopy and open space in the city and introduces a just planted “future old-growth” tree, a white oak.

The schedule features active, person-to-person experiences like mini garden tours, nature-oriented puppet shows and craft projects for children, artisan demonstrations, and a Market Fair featuring locally made handicrafts and food. Tours of the historic house will also be available, at the usual entry price. (The full schedule can be viewed here. Puppetry and crafts will be moved indoors in the event of rain.)

Also expect demonstrations of lathe work by local woodturners from the Montgomery County and Chesapeake Woodturners clubs. In May 2013, several of them salvaged heavy trunk pieces from a towering 200-year-old oak in the museum’s North Garden that had to be felled due to disease. (The newly planted tree replaces it.) In the woodturners’ hands, this “dead” wood received new life in stunning bowls, bottle stoppers, and other pieces, some of which will be on view Saturday.


wood bowl

Bowl by Don Van Ryk from the Tudor Place white oak.

“It means a lot to see such beauty come from what started as a sad event – the loss of a tree that lived through the change from a port to a thriving neighborhood,” explained Tudor Place Director of Education and Visitor Services Talia Mosconi. “The woodturners are keeping an ancient craft alive, and it’s fascinating to see how they do it.”

The bowls reflect not just skilled craftsmanship, but the artists’ ability to find refined beauty in raw and rough-hewn pieces, often turning irregularities or “blemishes” in the wood into distinctive features of a crafted piece. Bowls from the Tudor Place white oak are on sale now and during the Tree Fest from the Museum Shop. The demonstrating wood turners will have additional hand-crafted pieces available for purchase during the festival.