Reach for the Top

In the past, Turning Southern Style has supported Beads of Courage (BoC) by donating boxes and we encourage attendees to donate boxes again in 2018. However, our focus this year comes from Jean Gribbon, founder of BoC. She has suggested a partnership with Turning Southern Style to create artistic spinning tops which BoC will use for an upcoming fund raiser. The tops will highlight their connection with the woodturning community and their “arts in medicine” mission.

The American Association of Woodturners has graciously agreed to allow us to provide access to the “Turners are Tops” article from the Woodturning FUNdamentals online magazine. The Woodturning FUNdamentals online magazine is one of the advantages of AAW membership. If you like this article and want to see more, please consider becoming an AAW member. There is a convenient membership application form on the second page of the article.

The article can be found here.

We encourage you to participate and help us create a truly amazing collection for this BoC fund raiser. There will be two categories, individual and collaboration. Tops can be simple or complex.

There will also be some turned but unfinished tops available for the spouse craft room, so bring your Zentagle or other ideas for embellishment.

Below are some general guidelines for making your top. We have also included some images for your inspiration. Let’s make this a spectacular display and a winning fundraiser for Beads of Courage!

General Rules

  • Tops may be any manner of top, spinning (or twirling), whip, throw or supported tops.
  • Tops may be made of any material, e.g. natural, manmade or a combination
  • Tops may be of any type of construction, e.g. segmented, stave, solid, laminated etc.

Individual Category

  • Tops may include a display e.g. display stand, small platter for spinning etc.
  • Each person donating a top or tops will be entered into a drawing for $50 in vendor bucks which can be spent as they wish in the vendor area.

All tops should:

  • Have at least some part obviously turned on the lathe
  • Be capable of spinning
  • 2″ to 5″ diameter
  • No minimum or maximum height


  • No minimum size for tops
  • Entries should include multiple tops or in some way be obvious that more than one person contributed
  • Entries should include a display for the tops
  • Displays can be of any reasonable size (remember, we have to mail these things!)
  • Each collaborative piece will be entered into a drawing for a selection of wood donated by 2TreeBoyz