Spiracraft Academy with Bradley McCalister joins Woodworking Expos 2023 tour

The Expos (for short) is a woodworking industry trade show organizer, marketing to both DIY, hobbyist, and professional end users of woodworking hand and power tools, stationary woodworking machinery, furniture-specific hardware, stains/finishes for lumber, the wood species themselves, and a myriad of educational presenters covering a wide gamut of basic and advanced procedures both common (and uncommon) to the craft of woodworking. New, old, tried, true, and FUN!! Across the 48 states! The Expos deliver to woodworkers a way to see, touch, and share their enthusiasm for specific tools and processes, to provide a vehicle for attending classes and seminars, across this country,  for a great fun way to grow their knowledge of woodworking.

Our events are in-person trade shows. The Eastern Tour starts in January in the South, goes north to New England, then runs west to the Midwest, ending mid-April in Wisconsin. (12 events in ’23, 13 in ’24) In September, the Western Tour starts in Seattle, goes south to San Diego, then goes east through Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, ending in Nashville, in mid-December, with 13 events. A total of 25 shows in ’23, and even 26 in ’24.

The core of the Expos company is defined by their invariable values – ethics, quality, and people, as well as our covenants: punctuality, honesty, respect, trust, communication, and attention to detail.

  1. Richmond, VA – Jan 27-29, Greater Richmond Conv Center
  2. Springfield, MA – Feb 3-5, Mass Mutual Conv Center
  3. Syracuse, NY – Feb 10-12, New York State Fairgrounds
  4. Baltimore, MD – Feb 17-19, Baltimore Conv Center
  5. Detroit, MI – Mar 3-5, Huntington Place
  6. Indianapolis, IN – Mar 17-19, Indiana State Fairgrounds
  7. St. Louis, MO (pending)
  8. Kansas City, MO – Apr 7-9, KCI Expo Center
  9. Milwaukee, WI – Apr 14-16, Wisconsin Center District
For up-to-the-minute information, visit the Woodworking Expos website.  wwexpos.com

Join Spiracraft founder Bradley McCalister

8 Educational demonstrations each weekend!

Friday 2:30, 4:30
2:30: Resin Casting for Turning
Cast resin is used in forms as simple as a pen blank or as complex as a multi-component hybrid casting for turning resin art. In the past decade, resin casting has expanded to become one of the most popular turning forms for turning on a lathe. Join Bradley in this seminar as he unfolds the methods used to create a variety of resin castings for turning. Bradley will demonstrate the use of colored pigments, pearlescent powders, and glitters to achieve unique turning blanks for your next project.

4:30: Decorative Airbrush Techniques
In this seminar, Bradley will demonstrate how airbrushing has many advantages that other painting techniques cannot offer. He will teach you to create fine lines, infinite color transitions, and shades using freehand techniques or stencils. Bradley will demonstrate how large areas can be quickly covered with paint or a final protective finish. With an airbrush, using water or solvent-based paints and wood dyes, you are limited only by your imagination!

Saturday 10:30, 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30
10:30: Woodturning Fundamentals
Bradley McCalister has spent many years teaching and demonstrating woodturning. In this seminar, he will share the fundamental woodturning techniques needed to start your hobby. The discussion begins by providing you with the necessary safety precautions for woodturning, an introduction to the lathe, and how to select the best lathe for your needs. The selection and use of the proper tools and mounting techniques for your turning project are explained and demonstrated in detail. You will discover how to quickly and efficiently start with green wood or dried, turning blanks to produce an array of turned wood in many shapes, sizes, and finishes. Suppose you want a solid foundation to start your woodturning hobby. In that case, this is the seminar you wish to attend.

12:30: Bowl Turning Made Easy
There are few things in woodturning as rewarding as turning that first bowl. Learning bowl turning on the lathe is often the next step once you are comfortable turning small items such as pens and bottle stoppers. In this seminar, Bradley will teach you the fundamentals of making your fist bowl, including proper wood selection, grain orientation, blank mounting, and tool selection choices. He gives his demonstration piece to a seminar participant so they can bring it back next year to show how they finished it. Join Bradley for this informative seminar; you can get a free bowl!

2:30: Carving and Surface Embellishments
Nothing makes a piece stand out more than adding dimensions and textures to the surface of woodturning. During this seminar, Bradley will demonstrate power carving using various bits and burs to give your piece an utterly new dimension. He will show how to add textures with liquid and surface treatments that are very easy to apply. Bradley will then demonstrate how to bring life to these new dimensions with uniquely colored guilt, pastes, and colorants. If you want to add some pop to your work, this is a seminar you will want to attend.

4:30: Turning Resin Art and Hybrid Turning
In this seminar, Bradley will get you up to speed on this exciting field of woodturning. Turning a solid cast resin blank or a combination of resin and wood can present unique challenges. Learn to use the tools and techniques that allow you to create fascinating pieces quickly and efficiently. This seminar is a follow-up to “Resin Casting for Turning,” presented at 2:30 on Friday. Be sure to attend both workshops and head for your shop, ready to turn in a fantastic hybrid fashion!

Sunday 10:30, 12:30
10:30: Woodturning Miniatures
Sometimes you’ve got to think small. Creating small or miniature turnings is one of the best ways to develop fine tool control. Bradley will share his turning techniques in this seminar to create unique, beautiful miniature-turned pieces. He will demonstrate his methods to produce a small, thin form using only mini hand-held tools. The demonstration will include the use of straight and various sizes of curved tools. Wood selection and design considerations will be discussed and demonstrated throughout the seminar.

12:30: Finishes for Turned Wood & Resin
Finishing is the last and most crucial stage in woodturning. After all that hard work, you want your piece to look its best. In this final seminar, Bradley will teach you proper sanding methods to prepare a wood or resin piece. He will explain the use of various available finishes and how to choose the best one depending on the turning’s intended use. Application techniques are demonstrated along with how to “finish the finish.”

About Bradley McCalister

Bradley McCalister is a woodturner for the 21st century. He considers wood-turning to be both an ancient art and a modern expression, devoting many hours to studying his craft. Bradley honors both the “founding fathers” skill of wood-turning and the dynamic techniques of turners today around the world, incorporating wood, resin art, and hybrid combinations.

To date, Bradley has trained over 35,000 woodturners at events across the United States and has been endorsed and sponsored by The American Association of Woodturners and several major tool companies. He produces a weekly educational live stream for Spiracraft sharing his insights and wisdom.

A natural demonstrator, Bradley has worked with wood-turning clubs as a mentor and hands-on teacher. In addition, he teaches adults and children in wood-turning classes, symposiums, clubs, and private schools. Although he is a self-taught turner, Bradley passionately believes in teaching others his craft.

When asked about his work, Bradley explained that “for me, art begins with a personal vision inspired by what I see and what I feel rather than by the specific medium or technique. As a self-taught artist, I have no fear of the traditional rules or boundaries that may shackle some. Instead, I draw on deep emotion and innate ability to bring out the almost infinite potential found in wood.” Also a painter and sculptor, Bradley is influenced by modern artists, including Pollock and Picasso. His turned wood pieces become three-dimensional canvases for his coloring techniques.

In several circles, Bradley is well known to be one of the best craftsmen in the world; It stands to reason that he has a lot of knowledge to share and great stories to tell.