Category Archives: Events

Snowmen Acting Up Again…

B&WSnowmen   Some of the aspen snowmen made by Dennis were caught here in newspaper black and white by Nick Agar.  They appear to be plotting something nefarious while vigorously puffing on their turned pipes.   This year’s fellows all have names and distinct personalities.  They will appear this winter at the St. Peter’s School Holiday Botique, and then again at the Broadmoor’s Christmas House holiday weekend, November 27 and 28.

Upside-Down Saltshaker class at Woodcraft 10/31


Dennis will teach a class for turners of all skill levels on Saturday, October 31st, at the Colorado Springs Woodcraft store.

Students will make one or more of the two-part salt shakers that continue to delight the public with the mystery of getting the salt in and out of a shaker with just one hole in the bottom.  It makes a great gift for family and friends who may not understand the woodturning obsession.

This class will also hone skills with the parting tool, spindle gouge, and even the skew, for those turners who have been primarily bowl makers.  Dennis will help you sharpen your own tools correctly if you bring them to the class.

Call Woodcraft to reserve a spot, or to buy a class for your own aspiring woodturner:  719-266-9889.   The class will be over in time for trick-or-treating.  Recommended costume is personal safety gear – safety goggles or face shield.


A nice ride at the RollBikeArt show!


Dennis has been to see the Bike Art Show here in the Pikes Peak Region for at least five years.  This year, he made a bowl to commemorate the 7-Eleven Velodrome in Colorado Springs.  It is a clean hard maple with inlaid crushed stone in the shape of bicycle racers.

This may be the first bowl ever in the Bike Art Show.  It follows a long tradition of decorating bowls with arena events.   Picasso painted the bull fight arena on ceramic bowls fifty years ago, and now we have Dennis Liggett and bicycle track racing.

A highlight of this year’s show wasn’t an entry–it was an ice cream maker churned via stationary bicycle.

A spring in his step

DennisWebDennis is standing at the lathe with several spring demonstrations and classes.  He was at the Kansas City Woodturners’ Club in February, demonstrating and teaching the upside-down salt shaker and the Roman Canteen.  In March, he demonstrated for the Pueblo Woodturning Club.  March 14th,  he spent a Saturday at the Good Earth Garden Center’s Homestead Fair with other members of the Pikes Peak Woodturners.

In April, he will teach the upside-down salt shaker for the Colorado Springs Woodcraft store (April 18th).  This popular project is a great way for novice turners to improve skills.  It is also a good introduction to spindle-wise turning for those woodturners who have only worked in the face grain direction making bowls.  The tools and techniques differ for the two orientations of the wood to the lathe.   The week of April 19-25th, he will visit two woodturning clubs on the Western Slope of Colorado.

In addition to his public appearances, Dennis also gives private lessons for skills like thread chasing, cutting twists, and hollowing vessels:  719-481-8754

For love of the craft

photo by Scott Longberry

photo by Scott Longberry

Dennis turned tops late into the night at the Broadmoor’s Christmas House on November 29th.  Scott Longberry and Milo Scott took turns at the lathe, producing over 170 tops in two days at the outdoor Christmas celebration.  Children waited patiently in line, with their choice of felt markers for decorating the tops.  It was a nostalgic moment for many adult visitors who can remember when gifts were made in the USA.

Dick Jones, Laurie Longberry, and Kay Liggett helped to explain the many lathe-turned items on display in the woodturners’ tent.      Customers included hotel guests, visitors, and neighborhood folks.  The woodturners attend the celebration as guests of Harding Nursery.   The Broadmoor’s Christmas tree lighting and the festival at the Christmas House are a nice way to avoid ‘Black Friday’ hysteria.   Dennis and friends particularly enjoy their roles as makers during the holidays!

Woodturning camp

The Rider grandchildren–Brad, Brandon, and Hayley–spent a week in Colorado in July with several hours of woodturning instruction in the shop.    They started with just two tools and a practice stick in a session something like ‘How to tame your dragon [lathe].  They advanced to turning a pen from holly (it will double as a weapon against vampires) with Milo Scott.  Milo engraved their designs in the pen body with his magic laser machine, and then the new turners puzzled through the assembly process. 

In the photo, Bradley turns the funnel for the inside of his upside-down salt shaker, while Dennis and Brandon review his work.  The salt shakers were a challenging project.  The wood Dennis selected because cherry is easy to cut turned out to be some very obstinate honey locust.   They showed great effort  in the quest for this very ancient artifact design, which is still common in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.

The ‘smocks’ are recycled from Whole Foods.  We cut off the long sleeves, and sewed the pockets shut for safety.  The kids also traded their stylish Converse sneakers for some leather shoes.


New Bling for Turnings

Stuart Mortimer was back in the Liggett woodshop in May to teach several area woodturners how to cast and turn pewter elements for their own work.  Stuart has worked with pewter for several years, in addition to silver and gold, creating finials, hinges, and decorative rings for his beautiful eggs.  Inspired by the Faberge tradition, Stuart has developed a wide range of ‘boxes’ in the egg shape, many of which can be viewed on his website,

Notes for Symposium participants

General Twist Information is available here on the ‘SKILLS’ page.  Click on SKILLS right under the spindle on this page.  Go to section #2 for Twist information.  Use the link for Twistwork in the right sidebar to see all of the posts about Twistwork on the site.   The details for the goblet with the twisted laminated stem are on a separate page –GOBLET.  There are additional photos in the posts indexed for ‘goblets.’

Notes for making the canteen are on the PROJECTS page under PROJECT #2.   Use the link for Canteens (right sidebar)  to see previous posts and photos.  Dennis has modified some steps, and added new decorative possibilities since he last demonstrated the canteen at Southern States in 2009.

‘Tangled Aspen’ is a new demonstration for 2014.  Dennis will have hand-outs for Southern States participants.  The link for Christmas ornaments  (right sidebar) has a photo of the 2013 birdhouse ornament with the tangled aspen roof.

Enjoy the symposium!

Photo:  Honduras Rosewood Burl twisted, laminated Goblet

–Dennis calls these two goblets the Impossible Twins because of the difficulty of cutting the twist in burl wood.



Beginner class kicks off symposium season

Woodturners gather in the spring and early summer to exchange tools, skills, and ‘wow’s.  Before the symposiums begin, however, there is a lot of work to be done.  Dennis is holding a beginner class in early March for very, very inexperienced turners to learn and practice the safety procedures and tool management skills that every turner needs to know.  There will be a day of spindle work learning to turn the practice stick, a day to make a simple bowl with bowl gouges, and a final project of the student’s choice.

For those who are a few steps past the starting line, he will be demonstrating more advanced techniques at the Southern States Symposium in Gainesville, GA, April 4-5-6.   These rotations include making the multi-axis canteen, the goblet with twisted, laminated stem, and turning aspen for decorating (with Kay).

In May, Dennis and Kay will attend the Utah Woodturning Symposium.  Utah is a regional symposium with a focus on skills.   In June, they will go to the national American Association of Woodturners big pow-wow in Phoenix.

University-level training in lathe art is exceedingly rare, so most woodturners learn through a hybrid system of private lessons, video demonstrations, and demonstrations by professionals and serious amateurs.  Dennis provides demonstrations of his specialties, as well as private lessons for beginners, intermediates, and advanced woodturners.   Call Dennis if a good start appeals to you:  719-481-8754

Magic Christmas of Making

Dick Jones, Scott Longberry, and Milo Scott helped Dennis create a very magical Christmas for kids at the Boadmoor’s Christmas house over the weekend of Nov 28-December 1st.  Dennis, Milo, and Scott took turns making tops for kids waiting in line to see Santa Claus.  There is a certain magic to seeing something made right before your eyes that stands up well to the hysteria of ‘Black Friday.’   A special thanks goes to Larry Fox for loaning the group of Pikes Peak Woodturners the tent for a stellar display of Christmas ornaments and turned bracelets and bowls.