March 3, 2018 (9:00am to 1:00pm)

Mann Tool & Supply, 802 Chris Drive, West Columbia, SC 29169

Palmetto Woodturners is excited to present a demonstration by Mark Sillay (

About the Artist

When I was about six years old, my father gave me a set of hand tools, an old packing box with a vise mounted on it for a workbench and scrap wood. With his loving instruction and patience throughout my youthful years, I grew to appreciate tool skills, freedom of design and superior quality finish work.

Now I enjoy recycling native Georgia woods I love using the lathe to transform recycled woods into useful items and artistic objects. Being basically self taught on the lathe, over the years I have advanced my woodturning skills. After turning many basic bowls, etc., I found a desire to create smaller and finer turned objects. I had the privilege of meeting Cindy Drozda ( She inspired me with her unmatched skills and I thank her for helping me transform my woodturning life into a joyful journey.

I find satisfaction in both the creative process and in overcoming the challenges to complete fine quality finished work. I especially enjoy using a razor sharp spindle gouge and watching the shapes evolve while I’m creating intricate turnings. Donating to charities, teaching and demonstrating fulfill my giving spirit. I continue to be awed by what nature has created in wood and am proud of my efforts to preserve and recycle. At schools and art and craft shows, I take a mini lathe on which I turn wood as an educational experience for children. I make simple toys and ornaments for them to paint and decorate. I see the wonderment in their eyes as I reveal the toy from the wood. Doing this continues to fascinate me and bring me joy.

One of my new artistic directions is combining my woodturning with objects from the sea. It evolved from helping one of my students, Jennifer Jones, with her joinery skills. During the process of helping her I discovered a new way to join irregular objects. Exploring and refining this technique has brought much joy to me and helped to advance my artistic expression. Lately I have been exploring offset and tilted axis woodturning. The intriguing shapes and different ways light is reflected off the different planes creates a very pleasing and curious artistic expression in wood.

I am a member of the American Association of Woodturners. I consider myself a very blessed man with a supportive wife, family and many wonderful woodturning friends.