The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea celebrates 10 years as Kentucky’s showcase for the arts with three days of celebration, and on Saturday, July 20, Chris Ramsey, of Somerset, will create hats, bowls and vessels on a wood lathe from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Beginning with a rough-hewn solid block of wood, Ramsey places the wood onto a lathe and rotates it a various speeds, sculpting the wood with tools into the shape he desires. Most of Ramsey’s works are crafted from a single, unique piece of wood with no gluing or joining of individual pieces. His hats are turned while the wood is green and flexible, and he places large rubber bands around the brow band to push the hat into an oval shape for wearing.

Photo:  Wooden hat turned from big leaf maple by Chris Ramsey

Ramsey delights in “thin-walled” turning, with many of his works achieving a thickness of a mere 3/32 of an inch. All pieces are durable and have a luxurious finish of 20 coats of lacquer applied over a period of several days, followed by hand-rubbing to produce a radiant final appearance.

Ramsey is a popular and much-sought-after demonstrator who leads workshops for turning clubs and has been featured at various regional wood-turning symposiums. He will be sharing his knowledge and skills with visitors during his demonstration at the center on July 20.

Ramsey is a member of the American Association of Woodturners, the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Kentucky Art Council’s Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.

Works by Chris Ramsey are regularly available at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, located at 200 Artisan Way, just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cafe is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Celebrating 10 years in 2013 with three days of events and activities July 19-21, the center currently features works by more than 650 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. Special exhibits include, “The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea: Celebrating 10 Years,” on display through Aug. 24; and “The Founding of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea,” and “Highlights of the First 10 Years,” on display in the lobby through Nov. 17, 2013. For more information about the center’s events call 859-985-5448, visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentucky.artisan.center, or go to the center’s website at www.kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.



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