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About the Symposium

Every two years the AAW chapters of North Carolina combine to present this powerhouse woodturning event. Alternating years with neighboring Virginia's symposium, the North Carolina Woodturning Symposium presents an opportunity for woodturners throughout the Carolinas and nearby states to learn from top-tier presenters, meet fellow woodturners, and see the latest wares from leading vendors.

It's a not-to-be-missed event for woodturners in this region.


The North Carolina Woodturning Symposium is a non-profit, 501c3 corporation. We are an entirely volunteer-run organization;  no one receives payment for conducting the operations of the corporation.  The Board of Directors is responsible for the planning and operation of the biennial symposium held in the fall of the odd-numbered years.

The Story of the North Carolina Woodturning Symposium

In the fall of 1995 the first NC Woodturning Symposium was held in Statesville, NC at the Mitchell Community College.  It was organized by the Triangle Woodturners of NC (Raleigh, later named The Woodturners Guild of North Carolina) and the North Carolina Woodturners (Hickory).  It was a success as it bought several hundred Woodturners from across the state and returned a small amount of money to the two clubs.  It was followed every other year through 2005, with the last year including the Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association (Greensboro). The later symposiums were held in the Statesville Community Center.

Although attendees were pleased with the first home-grown symposiums, during the 2005 symposium several attendees who had attended other regional gatherings — particularly the South West Association of Turners (SWAT) symposium in Texas — started dreaming bigger. Consequently on the last day of the 2005 symposium the presidents of the three sponsoring clubs (PTWA, NC Woodturners, and Woodturners Guild of NC) met with the past president of the NC Woodturners and organizer of the vendors' component for the last two symposia met to discuss possibilities. 

The memberships of the three clubs were polled and approved the creation of an exploratory committee for the NC Woodturners Symposium.  It decided that Greensboro would be a more central location for future symposiums and eventually chose the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center for the 2007 and following symposiums. 

The Committee recommended inviting all the woodturning clubs in North Carolina to join together and to form a non-profit corporation. The Board of Directors of the corporation would consist of a representative and an alternate representative elected by each clubs’ membership.

By May 2, 2007, the Board consisted of representatives from seven clubs:  Carolina Mountain Woodturners, Charlotte Woodturners, North Carolina Woodturners, Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association, Southern Piedmont Woodturners, Wilmington Area Woodturners Association, and Woodturners Guild of NC.  The certification of the NC Woodturning Symposium, Inc. was received in 2006 and in June 2008 501(c)(3) tax status was awarded.  Later the Waxhaw Woodturners of Matthews joined.

The new meeting location provided seven spacious meeting rooms for simultaneous live demonstrations, a large hall that contained “an instant gallery” for displaying participant’s turnings, a large vendors’ exhibition, the “Turning and Learning” teaching center (provided by the Carolina Mountain Turners and funded by an AAW EOG grant) and the Saturday evening banquet and auction of donated items. The past decades of NCWT Symposiums have provided live, interactive demonstrations by some of the best woodturners in the world.  All equipment for the demonstration rooms was provided by each of the member clubs and staffed by their volunteer members.

The biennial symposiums were not held in 2019 because of the AAW Annual Symposium held in nearby Raleigh and in 2021 due the pandemic. The Symposium is back on track for decades to come!

Presented by these AAW chapters

Promoting and supporting woodturning in North Carolina and beyond.

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