BWG – Woodturners Guild

How We Began

The Brasstown Woodturners Guild was born sometime in May of 1993 when Herb Mulligan, Lissi Oland and Don Westerman got together and decided we had enough woodturners in our area to try and form a group to help each other.

More About BWG

The first meeting was held in the Westerman’s back yard in July 1993. There were 14 present. This was a start and Lissi Oland generously made her studio available for our meetings. Various locations were used until the spring of 96, when then President, Doug Barnes, obtained the use of the Brasstown Community Center Building. The club was able to purchase a Jet lathe for club use. Through donations of members and raffle tickets, various other needed equipment was obtained.

As the Club grew, so did the need for a better lathe. A fund was started. Some ideas were bantered back and forth. Then one of our Club members, Glenn Love, decided to have a talk with the Clay County School Superintendent. One discussion led to another, and again the Club was off and running.

As the Club grew further, so did the need for an even better lathe. Another fund was started by then President Joan Watkins to try to raise enough money to purchase an even larger lathe. Some ideas were bantered back and forth. This time we raised enough money to buy a PowerMatic lathe from a member moving to Florida; initiated a contract with the Hayesville High School Industrial Arts Program – in which they would house our lathe and needed equipment, in return for us using their building one day a month for our meetings.

More discussion – in which the Club decided to fund a complete woodturning system in the Hayesville High School for students in the Industrial Arts to use. Eight new mini Jet lathes, complete with chuck and tools were purchased by the Club and by generous donations by several Club members; Nick Garpetti, Glenn Love, Al Witek, Jack Parrish, Dave Wittmer, and Vic Breedlove. Hayesville High School Industrial Arts Department has the only accredited woodturning class in the State of North Carolina, as far as we know. The Club also applied for and received a grant from the American Association of Woodturners, which was used to purchase two more mini lathes, and assorted tools. In 2018, with a web developer team from and the help of BWG members, we created a woodworking tool comparison site called SawReviews.Tools. Check it out and support BWG!

BWG Officers 2018

BWG Officers 2018

Email Address
Vice President Talmadge Murphey
Secretary/News Editor Bobbie Wittmer
Treasurer Marsha Barnes
Video Coordinator Lee Holt

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