Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 27

www.georgiamagazine.org

LEITA COWART

teacher and staff member since 1984.
Highland Woodworking is a "show-me" kind of place.
"Education is the center of the story here," he says. "We
field questions all day long, and we encourage customers to
pick up the tools. We'll point out the qualities of each, but ultimately we tell them to select what feels best in their hand. If it
feels good to hold, you're going to use it."
Highland Woodworking imports high-quality tools from
manufacturers worldwide and sells to customers as far away as
New Zealand.
Colson made furniture before taking his first woodturning
class 20 years ago. He sold his table saw and plane, bought a
lathe and never looked back. A founding member of the Woodworkers Guild of Georgia, he taught classes for 15 years at the
John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. And he still
teaches at Highland Woodworking.
"Woodturning is problem-solving, and the
only way to get better is to spend time at
the lathe," Colson says. "I'm fascinated
by form and line. Something will grab
me, but I may have to turn 500 pieces
before I get the piece I'm after. I love
Above: Instructor Phil Colson explains the
basics of working at the lathe to students
the process and teaching others."
during a bowl-turning class at Highland
Highland Woodworking offers
Woodworking. Left: Dave Richards
classes and seminars on hand and
creates and sells woodturned bowls, such
power tools, carving, finishing, woodas this one made of spalted river birch.
working fundamentals and more.
S
RD
Colson's students are a mix of
HA
C
I
R
them. He sells online and in galleries.
young people, retirees and professionVE
DA
He's joined a woodturning club in Tifton
als looking for creativity, a new hobby or
and wants to be able to teach the craft to
When you go
just the satisfaction of making something
his grandkids.
Highland Woodworking,
tangible.
1045 North Highland Ave. N.E.,
From hobby to career
Atlanta. (404) 872-4466.
Hooked by one class
Atlantan Kirk McAlpin III is proud to
highlandwoodworking.com.
Dave Richards retired as a veterihave
a lawyer dad who also liked to build
narian in 2012. Years before, he'd seen
things
and taught him how to use tools.
the woodturned bowls of a friend and
After
college
and a career in public relathought he might try it himself one day.
tions,
he
realized
that
he'd
rather
be
working with his hands.
"I live in Valdosta, but my son lives in Atlanta, so I signed
McAlpin
began
making
furniture
for his family, friends and
up for a class with Phil [Colson] at Highland Woodworking," he
art
shows.
He
now
works
largely
on
commission
and is crafting
says. "I'd never seen a lathe. I was that green."
a
massive
outdoor
table
for
the
Atlanta
History
Center.
He discovered that Colson also taught a week at John C.
His specialty is tables of all sizes and shapes. He knows
Campbell Folk School, so he signed up.
his
clients
will use them and pass them down to the next
"I asked him to help me set up a workshop and bought
generation.
about $1,000 worth of equipment and tools, including a small
"I love helping people define what kind of piece they want.
lathe. I've been turning almost every day since," Richards says.
And
there's nothing like finding a good piece of wood and ask"I guess you could say I was bitten by the bug. I tried to soak up
ing
what
it might want to be," he says.
all that [Phil] taught me."
He
says
he challenges himself to learn something new with
Richards says he still visits the store when he's in town. "I
each
work
and
considers himself fortunate to live a mile from
love walking through and looking at everything. I've been to
Highland
Woodworking,
where he can find "an unusual finish
other woodcraft stores around the country, but there's none like
or
the
right
kind
of
sandpaper.
this one. They cover all the woodworking disciplines," he says.
"You spend so much time making a piece of furniture and
Richards says that if he needs something, someone will
if
you
don't finish it right, you can ruin it. It's not always easy to
leave the counter and walk him to the section. "Either they'll
figure
it out on your own, but [Highland Woodworking staffers]
have it or they'll tell you where to get it. They'll even tell you if
are
always
willing to coach me through it."
you don't need it and why."
Laura
Raines is a freelance writer from Mableton.
He likes making bowls because he knows people will use

27


http://www.highlandwoodworking.com http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - October 2019 - Cover4
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