A Master's Course in Woodturning Series 1
Beginner Level
Episode 5

with Eli Avisera

Published by KTMP, UK

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The Simple Goblet Project: This is the final film in Eli's first series of expert tuition in woodturning. It is intended primarily to introduce you to his unique range of tools, how they are intended to be used and how to keep them sharp! In this episode, Eli continues to demonstrate his methods for end-grain turning by producing a simple goblet and in the process, shows us how to utilise proportions. This film concludes with an interview with Eli. Starting at Beginner's Level, we will take you through a full course in woodturning; covering Intermediate Level and finally culminating with the series at Expert Level.

As reviewed by Darrell Smith in
The Australian Woodworker
Issue 147

Eli Avisera has been turning for over 30 years. An international demonstrator and teacher of woodturning and other woodcrafts, he has established a woodcraft centre in Jerusalem in his home country of Israel.

Recently he was released a number of instructional DVDs. They come in three series - Beginner (five DVDs), Intermediate (seven DVDs) and Advanced (seven DVDs).

This reviewer has seen other instructional videos on woodturning so a key point was whether Eli had anything new to say. Indeed he has, partly due to the fact that his style of turning is different to that traditionally practised in the US, UK and Australia.

Eli does have some difficulty with his English. Initially this was a little confronting, but after watching the DVD for a while it became a part of the character of Eli's presentation. Where there is some ambiguity over what Eli has said, text appears on the screen or there is a voice over to clarify the matter.

This approach works well, combined with Eli's very thorough and well detailed demonstrations. There are no jumps in his work. You get to see the whole process from start to finish and Eli goes to great length to explain his techniques and why he uses them.

The first DVD, an Introduction to Eli's Tools, runs for 2 hours 20mins and is essential viewing if you intend to watch any of Eli's other DVDs. In this video Eli discusses the tools he works with, how he sharpens them and how they are used.

The remaining DVDs in the series, plus those in the Intermediate and Advanced, are all project based. If you watch them in sequence you will build up an inventory of varied techniques which you can employ in your own turning. However, if you prefer to watch only those projects that interest you, this also works well. The project in each DVD is fully covered from start to finish.

The remaining four DVDs in the Beginner series cover the making of a Candlestick, Bowl, lidded Box with decoration and a Goblet.

With the Candlestick, Eli introduces his methods of spindle turning and turning copies of items. He uses a double bevel on his gouges and finishing tools and with the Bowl he shows how these make a difference to his turning.

With both the lidded round Box and the Goblet, Eli introduces end grain turning. He adds decoration to the Box with both texturing and colouring. With the Goblet he discusses the importance of proportions.

As a bonus but totally unrelated to woodturning, at the end of each DVD is a short travelogue on different parts of Israel. Eli's Beginner series assumes that the viewer has a very basic knowledge of turning tools and how a lathe operates.

The DVDs are therefore aimed at those who wish to improve their basic skills as well as the more advanced turners looking for new techniques and ideas.

About the Author - Eli Avisera: A Potted History
Eli Avisera was born in 1960, grew up, studied and lives in Jerusalem. Between 1973-1977 Eli studied at the School of Wood Art in Jerusalem. Since then, he has been a professional woodworker. Eli is an international woodturning demonstrator and teacher. Invited to many countries to show his unique variety of techniques; Eli uses a line of his own signature tools (manufactured by Hamlet Tools in Sheffield England). These unique tools have been developed by drawing on over 30 years of experience in woodturning. In 1988 Eli established the "Wood Craft Center" in Jerusalem where he teaches workshops for furniture building, wood carving and wood turning at all skill levels. To date: Eli has taught hundreds of students and has been instrumental in promoting the art worldwide . Eli is regarded as one of the world's leading wood art masters and his creations are exhibited in many exhibitions globally.

Duration: 80min

DVD - English