Emiliano Achaval, wood lathe artist. Located in Maui, Hawaii

I started turning about 21 years ago. A huge Big Island Koa tree fell in my yard. A friend of mine stoped by to see if I wanted to sell the wood… I hesitated and he offered to teach me something to be able to use the wonderful wood all over my yard. I ordered an entry level Sears Craftsman lathe and some soft carbon steel turning tools… I’m a self taught turner, never had a lesson, but I did buy lots of books and old VHS tapes about wood turning. My good friend Cole Warren allowed me to go watch him turn at his old gallery in Makawao, his help was invaluable. I doubt I would be where I’m now if it wasn’t for Cole’s help. I’ll always be grateful for his help, teachings and advice. Cole’s willingness to share what he knew always stayed with me. Another one of my very first mentors, was my wife’s cousin, Johnny Baldwin. He gave me lots of advice, and share his wood pile with me. One of the palm tree pieces he gave me, he said that if I found a bullet in it, he wanted it. General Patton had shot at it, while doing a handstand and drinking whiskey, on a dare, in a party at his house, during world war 2… Johnny brought many world class turners to Maui, letting everyone come for the learning experience…
It was the foundation of my learning experience, sharing the knowledge with fellow turners, that led me to be one of the founding members of the Maui Woodturners Association. I was voted as the first President on February of 2016. We are a chapter club of the American Association of Woodturners.
10 years ago I purchased an Australian made lathe: a Stubby S750, in my opinion one of the more solidly built and most versatile lathe available anywhere in the world today. It weighs around 800 Lbs with the added sand, needless to say, there is no vibration at all, even with big unbalanced pieces.
I turn almost exclusively Koa wood, with the ocasional fruit tree like Lychee, avocado and mango. Also the ocasional hard to find Milo wood, Pheasant wood and some other rare native trees… If it’s wood, and its nice, I will turn it…
2017 has started with a bang! I have been awarded the 2017 Educational Scholarship given by the American Association of Woodturners!! Truly a great honor. I will be going to one of the best Art schools in the world, Arrowmont, in Gatlinburg Tennessee.
I'm now a contributing writer for the best woodturning magazine in the world, Woodturning UK, keep an eye out for my articles coming out soon!
Also, the AAW chose one of my Koa bowls as "Turning of the Week" for the week starting in January 9th, 2017!! I did say that 2017 was going to be Epic!! Aloha from Maui
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I’m the President of The Maui Woodturners Association. A non profit club dedicated to the education and organization of those interested in woodturning. We are a chapter club of the world’s largest woodturning organization the AAW. For more info about the club: www.mauiturners.com
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That’s me, Emiliano Achaval, woodturner and fisherman, in front of my Stubby S750 lathe at my studio.