Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Willard Baxter - Club Founder

We Honor Willard Baxter

Founder: Willard BaxterWillard Baxter was a woodworker most of his adult life.  His wife, Sarah, says this about her husband: "He helped pay his way through seminary with his woodworking skills.  He also built the cabinets in our home.  He was a Baptist minister for 52 years, having been ordained at the age of 19, and was in law enforcement for 18 years.  Willard's woodturning life started about 28 years ago at Highland Hardware in Atlanta.  He was at a meeting and met Rude Osolnik.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  Willard was involved in woodturning."

In 1997, Willard organized the Chattahoochee Woodturners.  The first newsletter for this unnamed, unchartered group was sent in November, 1997.  Willard Baxter with friend and mentor Rude OsolnikThe first meeting was held in September at Willard's Belmont shop.  At this meeting, Willard demonstrated tagua nut Christmas ornaments.  In October, Willard showed the attendees how to turn a natural edge bowl.  As shown in the first newsletter, Doug Barnes demonstrated turning a hollow vessel.

In 2001, Willard and others organized the very successful Southern States Symposium, which is moving toward its eighth year.  He served on the board of the AAW, was the resident woodturner at John C. Campbell Folk School, and helped develop a threading machine.  He and Sarah operated the Baxter Belmont Shop.

Willard Baxter Woodturning Studio at John C. Campbell Folk School

Sarah Baxter with the Donor Recognition Tree of Life at the Willard Baxter Woodturning StudioIn 2007, the Willard Baxter Woodturning Studio was dedicated at John C. Campbell Folk School in recognition of a life of contributions and accomplishments in the woodturning field.





Past Presidents of the Chattahoochee Woodturners Chapter

  • 1997 - 2000 Willard Baxter (Founder of the Chapter)
  • 2001 - 2002 Hal Simmons
  • 2003 Jim Talley
  • 2004 Bruce Moore
  • 2005 - 2007 Jerry Chandler
  • 2008 - Dan Albertus
  • 2009 - Wes Jones
  • 2010 - 2011 Jerry Chandler
  • 2012 - Mike Peace

A big thank you goes to these leaders for establishing what we can enjoy today.

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