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John Jacob HOLTZAPFFEL Lathe - Ornamental Turning

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  • e3pi
    A Brief History of Ornamental Turning ... Life is short and art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. ...Hippocrates-400BC
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2004
      A Brief History of Ornamental Turning


      "Life is short and art long; the crisis fleeting;
      experience perilous, and decision difficult."

      "The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne
      Th'assay so hard, so sharp the conquering."


      Origins of the Lathe
      The Lathe Through The Middle Ages in European History
      The Invention of the Modern Lathe(ca. 1700)
      The Refinement of the Ornamental Lathe by Holtzapffel, et al.
      Some Ornamental Turners of the Past
      A Modern Ornamental Lathe
      The State of the Craft


      Origins of the Lathe
      Since we are dealing here with a specialized form of lathe turning,
      it would be well to give some of the history of the lathe itself. The
      name, which is a linguistic curiosity, comes from the English lath
      which was a pole or split strip of wood, and was used as a spring
      power source for early lathes. In India, for example, a lathe was
      called a chakra, a wheel, and it is common to other languages than
      English that the term for lathe has a relationship to a wheel, or
      circle. The lathe is a tool of rotation and the works generated
      thereon are always 'solids of rotation'. That is to say that if a
      cross-section be taken perpendicular to the axis of rotation, this
      section will always be a true circle.

      Turning is the process of shaping an object mounted in a lathe into a
      rounded form by applying tools against the workpiece as it spins.
      Plain turning creates objects whose every section is a perfect
      circle. Ornamental turning, however, works upon the plain-turned
      shape to apply some form of ornament by means of an externally
      powered cutting device. The cut surface which results can evidence
      great complexity of decoration. A variety of types of motion and
      interaction of workpiece with cutter is possible. The workpiece may
      be held stationary by an indexing device while an external cutting
      tool is brought in to make a cut; when indexed and the cuts repeated,
      this can create a basketwork effect of pattern among many others.
      Additionally, the work and cutter may move in a synchronized motion
      maintained by means of gear trains much as in the cutting of screw
      threads on a machinist's lathe. A rocking motion is also a possible
      complication of technique when using a specialized ornamental lathe
      called a rose engine. The embellishment of plain-turned objects with
      designs can elevate merely utilitarian objects into the realm of the
      decorative arts.

      The lathe, termed "the engine of civilization," unique amongst
      machine tools in that it is the only machine capable of replicating
      itself, is also capable of manufacturing all other machine tools. Its
      history dates back at least 3000 years. There are extant fragments of
      an Etruscan bowl dating to 700 BC. An illustration of a lathe carved
      on an Egyptian tomb wall dates to 300 BC. The Egyptians undoubtedly
      turned the legs of chairs and stools and other long objects. Though
      they did not leave us with descriptions of their lathes, the
      Egyptians did describe and picture their potters' wheels and bow
      drills, both forms of vertical lathes.
      The lathe was certainly known in Grecian and Roman times, though no
      accounts remain of it or the tools employed in turning. Cicero and
      Pliny refer to the turners or vascularii, and the master Greek
      sculptor Phidias is assumed to have turned cups before encrusting
      them with ivory and then carving them with chisel and file. Herodotus
      is quoting as saying, "But I smile when I see many persons describing
      the circumference of the earth, who have no sound reason to guide
      them; they describe the ocean flowing round the earth, which is made
      circular as if by a lathe." Virgil, as translated by Dryden,
      describes in the following passage a process whereby wooden bowls
      were plain-turned and ornament was then hand carved upon them:

      Two bowls I have well turned of beechen wood;
      Both by divine Alcimedon were made;
      To neither of them yet the lip is laid.
      The lids are ivy: grapes in clusters lurk
      Beneath the carving of this curious work.

      A primitive apparatus used in India is likely illustrative of many of
      these early lathes. The Indian lathe was portable, and set up by the
      turner at the site where work was needed. Two wooden poles were
      driven in the ground and the work mounted between them on centers
      which were simply round nails or spikes driven through the mounting
      poles. A bar or rod was then lashed with cords to the two poles to
      serve as a toolrest. In use, the turner sat on the ground and guided
      the cutting tool edge with his toes while holding the handle with his
      hands. Motion was imparted to the workpiece by means of a cord
      wrapped around the workpiece which was pulled by a helper. Cutting
      could only be done on one-half of the motion, that of the workpiece
      towards the tool. Early Persian and Arabian lathes work on a similar
      principle, but are more sophisticated in that they are built into a
      box and the power is supplied by a bow and string.

      | CONTENTS |


      The Lathe Through The Middle Ages in European History
      The lathe was introduced into England at least by 200BC by the Iron
      Age Celts. In the West, improvements to the lathe appear to have
      arisen from a different method of rotating the lathe conditioned by
      the European habit of selecting the erect posture for most mechanical
      operations. One end of the driving cord was fastened to a treadle or
      stirrup, it was then passed around the workpiece and then the other
      end was fastened overhead to a pole or spring above the lathe. Such a
      technique greatly increased the power of rotation and left both hands
      free for controlling the tool. The paucity of written records leaves
      us little information about the lathe during medieval times, and it
      is not until the Renaissance that evidence of the use of lathes
      appears. Gio Paulo Lomazzo described the oval turning of Leonardo da
      Vinci (1452-1519) in 1590. The following verses accompany an
      illustration of a turner in the book "Panoplia Omnium," by Hartman
      Schopper, published at Frankfort-on-the-Main in 1568:

      A turner I:--with unremitting skill,
      I turn from yellow box, whate'er you will:
      Boxes of shapes unnumbered we produce
      And who can tell our boxes' varied use;
      There may'st thou store, secure from stranger's view,
      Thy noble treasures of the brightest hue,
      There too the ball is made, which--wondrous sight!
      Struck by the wand, rebounds in varied flight,
      Here too the top, that warms the schoolboy's force,
      And whirls on level ground its well urged course.

      The first book dealing specifically with ornamental turning as well
      as 'plain' turning was published by L'Abbe Charles Plumier in 1701.
      Joseph Moxon described turnery in his book Mechanick Exercises or the
      Doctrine of Handy-Works in 1703. Denis Diderot D'Alembert prepared
      the first encyclopedia from 1751 to 1772, and therein illustrates
      lathes and the work done on them. The great classic of early turning,
      however, is Le Manuel du Tourneur published by L. E. Bergeron in
      1796. This comprehensive set of two volumes, containing 96 plates,
      was published for the aristocracy rather than for the artisan. In
      great detail it illustrates the state of the art at that time. By
      this era, lathes had developed into very sophisticated machines from
      their humble origins.


      The Invention of the Modern Lathe(ca. 1700)
      The modern lathe was not actually invented, but was a product of the
      refinement of input from many sources. Its evolution was one of
      gradual improvement. One key element to this development was the
      introduction of a large flywheel separate from the spindle that could
      serve to maintain a uniform speed and always allow the lathe to
      rotate in the same direction so that cutting could be continuous.
      Moxon, in 1677, describes the advantages of this improvement to
      powering the lathe:

      Besides the commanding heavy Work about, the Wheel rids Work faster
      off than the Pole can do; because the springing up of the Pole makes
      intermission in running about of the Work; but with the Wheel the Work
      runs always the same way; so that the Tool need never be off it,
      unless it be to examine the Work as it is doing.

      So with a flywheel to store energy and redistribute it with a uniform
      motion, and a treadle and crank to allow the turner to stand and pump
      power to the machine with his legs, the turner had both hands free to
      manipulate tools.

      Another important refinement to the lathe was the introduction of
      iron bearers for the bed instead of wood. The iron would maintain its
      alignment and if a carriage be mounted on a bearer of triangular
      section, it would serve to keep it in a true relation to the lathe
      axis for its whole length. The accurate bed then served as a platform
      for the final refinement which was the moveable carriage connected to
      the spindle by means of a gear train. In the 1780's, the French
      inventor Jacques de Vaucanson (1709-82) built an industrial lathe
      with a sliding tool carriage, advanced by a long screw. Then almost
      simultaneously in 1797, Henry Maudslay (1771-1831) in England and
      David Wilkinson (1771-1852) in the U.S. improved this lathe by adding
      a sliding tool carriage geared to the spindle. By this means, the
      carriage mounted with a cutting tool was able to move in
      synchronicity with the spindle at a constant speed and the cutting of
      accurate and repetitive screw threads became possible. This
      breakthrough heralded the age of mass production and interchangeable
      parts. With lathes this sophisticated by the end of the 18th century,
      ornamental turning began to reach a state of high development.

      | CONTENTS |


      The Refinement of the Ornamental Lathe
      by Holtzapffel, et al.
      Generally considered in the same breath with the term "ornamental
      turning" is the family name of Holtzapffel. John Jacob Holtzapffel
      moved from Alsace to England in about 1785 and opened his engineer's
      tool business in London in 1793. His first lathe was sold to a Mr.
      Crisp on June 31st 1795, the outfit costing £ 25-4s-10d. When one
      considers that today this would be over £ 2000, or $3000US, and that
      the skilled mechanic of the day earned less than 8d per hour, this
      lathe represented over 3 months wages. All of Holtzapffel's lathes
      were numbered, and not all had full ornamental turning apparatus
      included. By about 1805, after the Holtzapffel firm had reached
      nearly No. 500 in their numbering scheme, almost all lathes had iron
      beds instead of the previously used mahogany wood beds. The last
      lathe sold was Holtz. No 2557, made in 1913/14 and sold in Nov. 1928.
      No other maker of ornamental lathes matched the productivity of the
      Holtzapffel family in the field of ornamental lathes.

      When John Jacob I died in 1835, about 1600 lathes had been sold by
      his firm. Not all were fully equipped as ornamental lathes, but with
      the large number that were, quite an impetus was given to ornamental
      turning as a leisure occupation in England. The introduction of the
      cutting frame by Holtzapffel allowed for significantly more complex
      patterns to be cut as compared to what could be done previously with
      only the drilling frame. The elder Holtzapffel standardized his screw
      threads before 1800, his spindle thread being 9.45 threads per inch
      for example, and the firm maintained this standard throughout all the
      lathes they manufactured. This standardization was initiated long
      before any kind of screw standards were established for industry at

      The son of John Jacob I, Charles, who joined the firm in 1827, began
      the monumental series of five books that were called Turning and
      Mechanical Manipulation in 1835. This ambitious effort, comprising
      over 3000 pages and 1600-odd illustrations, was intended to be a
      complete survey and overview of all the mechanical arts of the day.
      It was not until 1884 that Vol. V was published by the son of Charles
      Holtzapffel, John Jacob II. However, it was not until 1894, with the
      addition of a revised and enlarged version of Vol. III, that the set
      was complete. Today, Vol's. IV and V of this series are known as
      the "Bible of Ornamental Turning" because of their wealth of
      information about all aspects of the craft of ornamental turning.
      Charles managed the firm until his death in 1847. He was considered a
      distinguished engineer, developing and inventing various devices. An
      obituary notice remarked of him that,

      Mr. Holtzapffel probably never put his hand to a machine which he did
      not improve, and his practice in the construction of machines has
      been more miscellaneous probably than that of any other mechanist,
      his workmanship more accurate, and his general mechanical
      arrangements more refined...He had all the humility of genius without
      its eccentricities, and his heart habitually overflowed with kindness
      towarrd everyone around him.

      Charles' wife, Amelia, ran the firm until 1853, and in 1867, Charles'
      son, John Jacob II, became head of the firm until 1896. He died in
      1897. A nephew of Charles, George William Budd, became head of the
      firm in 1896. Few ornamental lathes were made after the turn of the
      century and the 19th century was known as the zenith of the
      ornamental turning lathe. Many lathes were sold to the aristocracy of
      England. The earl of Harborough, for instance, bought nine
      Holtzapffel lathes between 1812 and 1848. This was certainly not
      common, but is instructive of the popularity of these machines once
      one developed an affinity for OT.

      The contribution of John Jacob Holtzapffel's work was significant in
      several respects. As expressed by Walshaw (see Bibliography), "First,
      he brought the cost of the machine down to a figure which a
      mere 'gentleman' (or even a prosperous tradesman) could afford, and,
      second, the design was both elegant and functional." His designs were
      much improved over the lathes previously made on the continent of
      Europe. Holtzapffel also was a master of marketing apparatus to his
      clients over time. Improvements and additions to apparatus increased
      the capability of his equipment and induced his clients to continue
      to be his customers. The remarkable set of books by the family were,
      in effect, an extensive set of owner's manuals for their machines.

      In addition to the Holtzapffels, other makers produced ornamental
      lathes. Among them were the ornamental lathes of John Evans (1843-
      1919) which were of high quality and counted some improvements over
      the Holtzapffel lathes to their advantage. A large number of lathes
      were attributed to his firm, and improved overhead drives, sliderests
      and cutting frames marked the work of this talented machinist. He
      also wrote a book on ornamental turning which some find much more
      easily understandable than the Holtzapffel books. George Birch and
      Company made a few ornamental lathes, but they were essentially
      engineers' metalworking tools which were given the necessary
      components to do ornamental turning. George Goyen, a retired South
      American railway engineer who took to making lathes as a hobby, is
      generally credited with singlehandedly creating the finest ornamental
      lathes ever produced. He probably made his lathes for his friends'
      amateur use and only ten Goyen lathes are known to exist. There were
      other makers such as George Plant, George Hines, Hulot, James Munro,
      Joseph Fenn and James Lukin and many of them made lathes of a caliber
      of workmanship equal to a Holtzapffel. Lukin also wrote a book (see
      Bibliography) on ornamental turning and Frank Knox considered
      it "second only to Holtzapffel in usefulness," as "Lukin clarifies
      much of what Holtzapffel leaves unclear." There were indeed other
      toolmakers who made ornamental lathes, but these makers are those who
      have left us with extant examples of their machines.

      A typical example of an array of ornamental cutters is seen in Evans'
      book. This was an assortment of cutters that would be in a basic
      collection from any of the ornamental lathe makers. Cutters such as
      these were mounted in the universal cutting frame, the horizontal
      cutting frame or the vertical cutting frame and could produce a great
      variety of pattern, especially if the cuts from several cutters were
      combined in the design of the pattern.

      Many specialized chucks and apparatus comprised a complete ornamental
      turning lathe package.Typical of the presentation of apparatus for a
      Holtzapffel OT lathe is this array of gears and accessories for the
      spiral and reciprocator apparatus. They are housed in a finely-
      crafted mahogany box, and are beautiful to look at and in use. A
      drill frame was necessary to do work in which the cutter rotated as a
      modern router bit would. Pearls and other features could be created
      depending upon the profile of the cutter. An eccentric cutting frame
      allowed for shallow circles to be cut with adjustments to vary the
      diameter of the circle cut and its displacement from the central axis
      of the piece. With careful thought and design, very intricate
      patterns of a geometric nature could be rendered by this technique.

      Other apparatus included a variety of special-purpose chucks, such as
      the eccentric and rectilinear chucks. It was also possible to create
      ellipses and, by means of a compensating index, create equal
      divisions of the ellipse. A geometric chuck comprised of a complex
      set of interacting gears would allow tracings to be made that would
      demonstrate complex geometric curves, such as the epicycloidal
      pattern. Much ornamental turning was done in ivory, as it produced
      the finest cuts and allowed for great delicacy of pattern due to its
      hardness and strength. At times, incredibly intricate work was
      performed by the Holtzapffel firm to illustrate to the public the
      capabilities of their machines.

      A beautiful example of the finest work put out by the Holtzapffel is
      in this Rose Engine Lathe, one of only 8 ever made. These were a
      specialized type of ornamental lathe in which the headstock rocked
      back and forth as controlled by a rubber moving against a rosette or
      cam-like pattern mounted on the spindle at the same time as the lathe
      spindle rotated. Rose engine work often reveals flower patterns, and
      convoluted, symmetrical, multi-lobed organic patterns. It has the
      potential to be very complex and to produce beautiful and unique
      patterns unlike any other on the ornamental lathe.

      Excellent engraved plates of ornamental turning and an extensive
      depiction of various OT apparatus can be found in Holtzapffel Vol. V
      (see Bibliography). Much of the historic ornamental turning machinery
      that has survived is now held by collectors or is in museums. Only a
      small number of machines are still being used for their intended
      purpose. Most of this machinery bespeaks an era of unbounded optimism
      and is beautifully made and a joy to view and use. They represent a
      time in history when quality still meant "excellence." To my view,
      the makers and users of this machinery were obviously on a quest to
      participate in the experience of beauty and "a thing done well," and
      from our own perspective in time, succeeded admirably.

      | CONTENTS |


      Some Ornamental Turners of the Past
      Tsar Peter the Great of Russia ordered both a Russian and Dutch
      translation of Plumier's work in 1716. He was very interested in
      utilizing the mechanical arts to Westernize his country and was an
      accomplished ornamental turner. Boxes and a pair of compasses in an
      ivory box made by him are in the Brandenberg Museum in Copenhagen
      today. Boxes made by the Prussian kings, Frederick III and Frederick
      IV, are also at this museum.

      Andrei Konstantinovich Nartov, a member of Peter the Great's court
      wrote a treatise called "Theatrum Machinarum" (see Bibliography)
      which was never published, but nevertheless was preserved in
      manuscript form and translated in 1966 by the Israel Program for
      Scientific Translations in Jerusalem. Nartov was a mechanic and state
      counselor to Peter and a member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.
      He was sent by Peter in 1718 to instruct Frederick William I, king of
      Prussia, in the art of ornamental turnery. As Frank Knox
      recounts, "Another of Nartov's lathes, made in Moscow and brought to
      Paris, was presented to Louis XV with a collection of turned objects
      that were placed in the Louvre and are still kept, together with the
      lathe, in the Musé e du Conservatoire National des Arts et Metié rs."
      Nartov was apparently a master of the craft and produced complicated
      shapes with delicate workmanship. Another of his lathes was presented
      by the Czar Nicholas I to the Austrian emperor Ferdinand,and it is
      now located in the Technical Museum of Vienna.

      The Zick family, who lived in Nuremberg in the 16th and 17th
      centuries, produced many of the exotic and seemingly impossible
      pieces seen in museums today. Other European members of royalty were
      ornamental turners and some of their work survives today. The
      Copenhagen Museum has in its collections objects made by Christian V
      and Frederick IV, Kings of Denmark. Both the kings, Louis XV and XVI
      of France, were ornamental turners and collectors. A daughter of
      George II of England, Princess Louise, produced a complex pyramid. At
      Augsburg are the pieces of Tabien Treffler, who also taught
      ornamental turnery to German royalty.

      In the 17th and 18th centuries, a goodly number of ornamental lathes
      were made in Europe and found their way into the hands of many houses
      of European royalty, where both men and women practiced the craft as
      a hobby. In this age of fascination with mechanical devices, some
      very elaborate ornamental turning was created and some still survives
      in the museums of Europe.

      | CONTENTS |


      A Modern Ornamental Lathe
      In a 1976 issue of Fine Woodworking (see Bibliography) magazine, Ray
      Lawler first read of a machine and a craft he had never encountered
      before. He found the article about Frank Knox (see Bibliography), his
      Holtzapffel lathe, and the exquisite ornamental turnings he produced
      fascinating. Being the owner of a custom gear-making shop, Ray had
      the facilities and the interest to attempt to make a modern version
      of a Holtzapffel ornamental turning lathe. He got in touch with Frank
      Knox and found out about the five books the Holtzapffels had written
      on the lathe and turning techniques. Though the books contained very
      good and clear drawings of lathes and apparatus, not one dimension
      was mentioned. So Lawler went to New York and spent two days with Mr.
      Knox with a camera and micrometer, taking measurements and pictures
      of the Holtzapffel lathe owned by Mr. Knox. As a result, in 1985, Ray
      and his dad, Calvin, created a prototype lathe.

      As well expressed by V. E. Gilmore in a 1989 Popular Science (see
      Bibliography) article, speaking of the Lawler lathe, "It is a
      beautiful machine, made of polished steel, cast bronze, and mounted
      on mahogany legs....(it) embodies several design changes. Of course
      it is motorized rather than having a treadle as the old ones
      originally did. It is also larger; it can hold work up to 36 inches
      long (compared with about 22 inches for a Holtzapffel lathe)."

      Lawler made his lead screw run the length of the lathe, rather than
      the 8" of the original Holtz, to allow for the continuous working of
      longer pieces of wood. This change caused a problem with the overhead
      drive that powers the cutters since there is greater movement
      longitudinally than with a Holtzapffel lathe. His solution as
      described by Gilmore was "to add a vertical upright to the back of
      the slide rest, which moves in tandem with the tool holder. The
      pulley on the horizontal crossbar atop the upright thus can be always
      above the cutter. A counterweight on the main upright keeps the belt
      in proper tension." This example is but one of many elegant solutions
      to making a workable machine with modern technology. Another Lawler
      innovation was to mount the tool carriage on linear bearings which
      give a silky, smooth motion to the carriage as it moves along the
      lathe bed.

      With such refinements as mentioned above, in the past 10 years, the
      Lawlers have now produced and sold 36 lathes (as of spring '96).
      There is not a great demand for such exotic machinery, and the effort
      has not been profitable for the Lawlers. Still, it is obviously a
      labor of love and has produced great satisfaction for Ray Lawler, for
      now his name will be added to the list of ornamental lathe makers
      topped by the Holtzapffels. In fact, those acquainted with ornamental
      turning now speak of a "Lawler" in describing these lathes, just as
      they use the term "Holtz" to refer to the lathes of the storied
      Holtzapffel firm. This modern ornamental turning lathe has
      contributed considerably to the renewed interest shown in this
      archaic craft.

      | CONTENTS |


      The State of the Craft
      Ornamental turning reached its previous crest of interest immediately
      preceding World War I. The disruption of European society wrought by
      the war spelled a demise of interest in OT. Not only was the
      aristocracy of Europe greatly reduced, but machinist's work on
      electrically powered tools became the popular hobby of the
      mechanically inclined.

      In 1948, however, a dedicated group of amateurs formed the Society of
      Ornamental Turners in England. This group served as a focus for a
      renewed interest in the tools and techniques of ornamental turning.
      Public awareness was aroused by their Bulletin and meetings and
      competitions. In the US, a magazine article in 1976 first brought
      awareness of ornamental turning to a broader audience. Then the
      reprints of Holtzapffel's books and later those of Evans and Lukin
      gave a resource of historical information to those interested. Likely
      the most impact on US awareness of ornamental turning was brought by
      the publication of the beautiful little book by Frank Knox in 1986.
      Even though the book was short, his beautiful designs and workmanship
      depicted by excellent color photographs and information about the
      history and techniques of OT served as a valuable modern introduction
      to the craft. In 1990, an excellent book on OT published in England
      by TD Walshaw served to provide further information to those
      intrigued by this craft. The Bibliography contains information about
      all these written works and more dealing with ornamental turning.

      Today, the Society of Ornamental Turners numbers over 300 members
      worldwide. The American Association of Woodturners, with a membership
      exceeding 5000, has as a local chapter the Ornamental Turners of
      America. They hold yearly conferences which have a section dedicated
      to ornamental turning. In 1995 The Ornamental Turners International
      was organized to serve as a focus for ornamental turning in the US.
      It holds an annual meeting, and is making provisions for the
      reprinting of rare, out-of-print books on OT, the group purchase of
      OT equipment and materials, and a means of networking by sharing a
      newsletter. (See the Bibliography, Other Sources of Information, for
      further information about these groups.)

      There are excellent displays of ornamental turning equipment at the
      British Science Museum in London. At the Rochester Institute of
      Technology in Rochester N.Y., site of a 1992 Ornamental Turning
      Seminar, there has been an organized program of instruction in
      ornamental turning with the tools and equipment donated by Frank
      Knox's estate. The HaWK computerized ornamental turning lathe created
      by Mark Krick and associates utilizes the latest electronic
      technology in their experiments with computer-controlled OT.

      Around the world, a group of talented amateurs and professionals
      carry on the traditions of ornamental turning, infusing new
      materials, techniques and designs into the craft. Work such as mine,
      I think, demonstrates that you do not have to have an ornamental
      turning lathe to produce respectable ornamental turning. Excellent
      ornamental turning can be performed on machinery adapted to the
      purpose. Such talented professionals as Paul Fletcher (see
      Bibliography, "Craft Crusader") in England and Jon Sauer (see
      Bibliography) and Dale Chase in California have gained international
      reputations in the art world for their work. Exhibitions held by
      major galleries such as the Del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles now
      include work by ornamental turners. With the reprinting by modern
      publishers of some of the classic works of ornamental turning, with
      the encouragement of several organizations formed to foster the
      craft, with the introduction of a modern ornamental turning lathe,
      and with the ingenuity and creativity of resourceful individuals to
      create their own apparatus, this venerable craft has gained the
      momentum and interest to propel it, alive and well, into a new
      century to assume its rightful place in the field of the decorative

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