Spend a day turning a rocking box with artist Mark St. Leger Aug 11 at the NC State Crafts Center.

Mark will be our demonstrator for the August WGNC meeting, but up to 10 members can join him for all of the next day (Friday) for a hands-on workshop.

The cost for the class -- including materials -- is just $113 for WGNC members. You can pay online now to secure your spot or bring you check to the July 14 meeting.

The demo will include all steps needed to complete this unique lidded box, including making of jigs and safety with an emphasis on sharp tools and proper tool use.

Known for his sense of humor and ability to effectively teach a variety of age groups and skill levels, Mark’s teaching techniques are easily followed and incorporate much skill building. His enthusiasm for woodturning has offered him the opportunity to meet a variety of individuals who share his interests in woodturning. Exchanging ideas with Woodturners and clubs throughout the world gives him the opportunity to contribute to the continual process of growth and learning in the field of Woodturning.

Mark has been working with wood since he was a young boy, helping his father who is a cabinetmaker/turner. He took woodshop for a year in high school where he first turned on a lathe, and still remembers his teacher’s name (Mr. Snyder). It’s funny, some of the things one doesn't forget. After high school Mark served a four-year apprenticeship and became a Journeyman Carpenter. Thru the years his interests moved towards the finer aspects of building which enabled him to become an accomplished Cabinetmaker as well.

In 1982, Mark moved from Pennsylvania to the mountains of Southwest Virginia where he still lives today with his wife Barbara. Their three children are grown and branching out in their own careers.

After working years in the field of building, Mark was approached and asked if he would consider teaching woodworking to high school students. Eighteen years later he continues to teach at a rural high school and enjoys it. Thru the years, along with some very caring contributors, Mark and his students have built up a virtually empty shop into a fine woodworking facility. It is set up for a full range of carpentry & cabinetmaking along with woodturning and carving.

Mark’s interest in woodturning came from a weekend visit by his father who brought a weed pot and small tagua nut vessel he turned, along with his excitement about turning. Well, that was the spark that ignited an interest in woodturning. Twenty years later Mark still enjoys exploring the endless possibilities of woodturning with enthusiasm and creativity.

As an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Blue Ridge Woodturners Club in Virginia, Mark has served as vice-president, president & activities coordinator along with hosting their club meetings at the high school shop on a monthly basis. He is also a member of the American Association of Woodturners where he has served as a member of the board of directors. Several years ago the AAW produced a “Skill Building Projects” video featuring some of Mark’s teaching techniques.

Mark has been an active demonstrator and workshop leader for turning clubs, along with demonstrating at many regional and national symposiums. He is currently on the faculty list of Arrowmont School of the Arts in Tennessee, Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee, Peters Valley Craft Center in New Jersey, and the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Mark also finds satisfaction in teaching woodturning courses for a local college. His work has been shown at many venues and is in private collections.