Incoming senior selected as finalist in North American woodturning competition

Ryan Austin, Class of 2018, was chosen as a finalist in the high school woodturning competition “Turning to the Future,” being held July 19 to 22 in Las Vegas. Ryan was one of eight high school students from across the United States and Canada to be selected as a finalist.

Woodturning is the craft of using a lathe and handheld tools to form objects from wood. Woodturning is a form of woodworking and is used to create a myriad of objects, such as bowls, table legs, candlesticks and much more. Ryan entered a segmented bowl into the competition, a challenging project that used a number of precisely cut slices of wood to create the shape instead of one large piece. He used the slices to form larger discs which he then turned on the lathe.

Ryan has been practicing woodturning since he first took Woodshop with Mr. Cheskaty in Grade 6. That same year, he created a lamp that won an award at the Del Mar Fair.

“Mr.Cheskaty taught me everything I needed to know, and once I got into it, I loved using the lathe. I like the symmetry of the lathe, and the artistic feeling when turning and shaping the piece,” Ryan wrote in an email.

Ryan took Woodshop again his sophomore year and Mr. Cheskaty served as a mentor while Ryan created his first-ever segmented piece.

“It was the first time I tried anything like this,” Ryan wrote. “It was hard to make, and I had to learn as I went along, but now I have more confidence, and I’m thinking of designs for my senior year project.”

Ryan’s segmented bowl will be on display in Las Vegas during the Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers (AWFS) Fair, held July 19 to 22. The winners of the “Turning to the Future Competition” will be announced July 21.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

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