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Ashland teacher works to teach students the dying craft of woodturning

Dan Tilden, an Ashland native, is now teaching woodturning at Ashland High School in hopes of inspiring more youth to take up the dying craft.

Posted: Dec 10, 2019 7:04 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2020 11:08 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Woodturning is an ancient craft known to multiple cultures across the globe, but it’s slowly becoming less and less common. That’s why Dan Tilden has stepped back into a classroom, to try to inspire passion for the dying art.

Tilden was a student at Ashland High School years ago, where he was taught by Christian Burchard.

“He taught me the art of woodturning,” says Tilden, “I ended up apprenticing under him and working for him.”

Tilden says he is now returning the favor, teaching woodturning at Ashland High School this year.

“I’m here to show the kids that they can do something creative with their hands and they can make an occupation out of it,” says Tilden.

Students in the advanced carpentry class are learning how to use multiple tools and processes to create goods out of wood.

“I love it,” says Janelle Shunway, a junior at Ashland High School and student of Tilden’s, “I’ve already made two bowls and a rolling pin and I haven’t even used all the tools in the shop yet this year.”

At the end of the day, Tilden says even if students don’t pursue a career in woodturning, it’s an excellent skill to have and it can be a life-long hobby.

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