The Brasstown Woodturners Guild was born sometime in May of 1993 when a few wood turners (Don Westerman, Lissi Oland, & Herb Mulligan) got together and decided they had enough in their area to try to form a group to help each other. The first meeting was held in Westerman’s back yard the evening of July 6th, 1993, with the addition of Fred Yaxley, Mike McKinney, Joe Francis & Bob Miller. This was a start and Lissi Oland generously made her studio available for our meetings.
At the January 1994 meeting, they decided to elect officers to try to be an effective group: Lyle Smith, President, Doug Barnes/Glen Love, Program, Joe Francis, Newsletter, Don Meyers, Treasurer, and Lissi Oland, Secretary. Later on in Dec. 1995, with 26 members in attendance, they voted on the by-laws and applied for AAW membership.
Lissi provided the Club with a meeting place for the first year. A bank in Murphy was used time or two, as was the Murphy High School. In the spring of 1996, Doug Barnes (then President) obtained the use of the Brasstown Community Center building ($315 rental per year). The club was able to purchase a Jet lathe for club use, bought a large shop vac, and a grinder was donated by Bob Fisher. We also had a lending library of books/videos and a Stewart tool system, which would be rented for $5 per month. Steve Goines from Blairsville, provided us with license plate signs of the “Brasstown Woodturners Guild.”
In 1996, the Club adopted the woodturning section of the JCCampbell Folk School with the support headed by one of our members, Willard Baxter, who was the resident artist at that time. The Club refurbished and re-equipped the turning section, Rude Osolink made large and generous donations for new equipment and several new lathes were obtained from Craft Supplies with an additional donation from Dale and Darrel Nish. Sixteen or more of our club members donated their time and labor to remodel and repaint the turning studio, build tool stands for each station. Glen Love re-wired the studio, and the club donated a grinder to the school. On April 22, 1996 the Club had 43 paid members and donated $1,000 to the WT studio for resurfacing of the floor with all the labor provided by Club members.
In June of 1999, Talmadge Murphy designed the BWG Logo which we currently use.