Woodturner's Guild of Ontario

for the advancement and promotion of the craft of woodturning

Turner of the Month
Colleen Samila - President of the WGO

Personal Message from Colleen

Thanks for allowing me to be your WGO President for such a long time, but we are looking for a replacement! If you feel you could come on board and support this wonderful group of people, please think about volunteering! If you want to know anything about this position, please call or email me as most of you know, I am a talker .

Colleen Samila


Colleen started woodturning in 2007 when her then boyfriend, Ivan bought her a Delta Midi-Lathe. In all honesty it sat in her garage for almost a year, too frightened to use it. She then got up the courage to visit Dunbarton High School for a meeting of the WGO, and well the rest is history!!

Her first foray into turning was going up to Owen Sound to get lessons. Yup, at the time when she asked about lessons the then president told her to look at the website, and this guy was the only one listed – Irwin Seidman. He had been a member of the WGO in years past and back in 2008 she booked a bed and breakfast and spent two days with Irwin. Since then she has been lucky enough to have sessions with Jimmy Clewes, Michael Hosaluk, Kurt Hertzog, and Nick Agar to name a few.

Here we are 14 years later, and she’s been president of the WGO for 10 of those years. She doesn't get as much time in the shop as she would like. Many people think she’s retired, but far from it. She works every day for One Step Beyond, a business Ivan started in 1993. They do various things which keep her busy and happy every day. She’s forever grateful to have such a great boss; he is encouraging and very supportive of everything she does, including amassing a huge collection of wood. As long as she keeps it reasonably tidy and trys to use as much as possible, he too is happy! When she needs to look after their grandson or have some other family commitment, Ivan again is very supportive. Their family means a lot to both of them and spending quality time is important.

Over the years she has made quite a few pens, a number of smaller bowls (nothing bigger than 8 inches) and my favourite piece to date, the purse that she turned for the 2019 Annual WGO Salon. It didn’t win, but she is still incredibly proud of this piece. She’s chosen a few photos to share here, as you can see, she does love anything wood so has included a couple of the other flatwork she has completed.

click on a picture to see a larger version

Array of Bowls Belgian Bowl Trophy Black and White Bowls Burl Bowl Purse 3
Colleen and Jimmy Dog Beg Monkey Piggy Bank Oil Shelf Purse
Black and White Bowls 2 Purse 2 Salt Box Colleen and Kurt Walnut Bowl Watermelon Bowl