2017 Spring Artisans’ Market

The Tucson Museum of Art is holding its Spring Artisans’ Market this weekend, March 17–19, featuring more than 100 of the Southwest’s best artists and artisans. Come find that something special while you and your family enjoy great food, craft brews, blacksmithing demonstrations, free admission to the museum, and more! I will be in Booth 16 (the booths have been renumbered), which is right next to my usual spot, in front of the blue wall on the east side of the museum, catercorner from Old Town Artisans. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The museum is in downtown Tucson at 140 N. Main Ave.

2016 Spring Artisans’ Market

The Tucson Museum of Art is holding its Spring Artisans’ Market this weekend, March 18–20. More than 100 of the Southwest’s best artisans will have set up shop in the museum’s courtyards. Come find that something special while you and your family enjoy great food, craft brews, live music, children’s activities, free admission to the museum, and more! I will be in my usual spot, Booth 104, in front of the blue wall on the east side of the museum, catercorner from Old Town Artisans. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The museum is in downtown Tucson at 140 N. Main Ave.

2015 Southwest Flair A-Fair

2015bbbsBig Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson will host Southwest Flair A-Fair, its 23rd annual arts and crafts show, this coming weekend, October 30th to November 1st, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More than 150 of the region’s finest artisans (including me, natch) will showcase their arts and crafts at Plaza Palomino (at the southeast corner of Swan and Ft. Lowell Roads). Come enjoy a weekend of beautiful fall Tucson weather and art! A portion of the proceeds from every piece sold will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson. I will be in Booth 86, in the east parking lot.

Advances in stem cell therapy for retinas

My hopes are beginning to come true! There is already progress being made in healing retinal damage using stem cells. I heard this story yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered: “Study Finds Human Stem Cells May Help To Treat Patients.” The story is everywhere. Here are links to a New York Times article, “Study Backs Use of Stem Cells in Retinas,” and one on WebMD, “Stem Cell Therapy Shows Long-Term Effectiveness.” Hurray! I know possible help for me is still years down the road, but I am still celebrating this news.

Two years later

September 21, 2014, marked two years of recovery from my accident. Looking back at my last major update, about a year ago, I see that, although the healing process continues, not a lot is changing on the surface. My appearance has improved a little more since my February surgery. The left eye now looks normal enough for people to feel comfortable asking why it’s so red—which the rim of the lower lid always is, to varying degrees. I don’t know if that will ever quite go away. My eye is still easily irritated, which can increase the redness. And it still waters a lot, as the cornea continues to dry out and overproduce tears. The eye still hurts at random moments, especially later in the day, sometimes sharply, sometimes deeply. The nerves in my cheek have almost fully regenerated. My eye crinkles almost normally when I smile.

The central vision in my left eye is still gone, though I hold out hope for future medical developments that may reverse the damage (come on, stem cells!). In the meantime, I use my peripheral vision as much as I can to keep my optic nerve active: I sometimes walk around with my right eye shut just for the practice. I still forget sometimes why I can’t see clearly, especially when I first wake up. I have recently been experiencing a fresh bout of grief about the impairment of my sight. I still often bump into things on my left and lose my balance easily. I continue to have trouble concentrating and thinking clearly. I am still trying to figure out how to see as well as I can while I work; my vision varies a lot, and magnifiers and lights only help so far.

I have not entirely recovered my turning skills. I got tendonitis in my right elbow (my dominant arm) in the spring and wasn’t able to work for several months. Add this to the many gaps in work caused by my surgeries and I guess my rustiness is understandable, if frustrating. It has been hard this time to get back into a creative flow, but I am working to hold a steady course through the latest challenges by remembering every day what I haven’t lost (family and friends, my sense of humor, my curiosity, a damn good life) and what I’ve gained (more love, gratitude, a greater sense of connectedness to everything).

BBBS Southwest Flair A-Fair

Southwest Flair A-Fair 2014.

The last weekend of this month, October 24, 25, and 26 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson will host its Southwest Flair A-Fair at Plaza Palomino. This fine-art-and-craft fair, which benefits BBBS, will feature the work of more than 150 artisans—including me. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with free parking nearby and free shuttle service to and from the fair—just look for the signs. Plaza Palomino is located in Tucson at the southeast corner of Swan and Fort Lowell Roads. I will be in Booth 86, in the east parking lot, near La Placita Cafe.

Add some creativity to your holidays while you help improve some children’s lives!

POP Excellence Award

I am proud to say that I received a POP Excellence Award at the 2014 symposium of the American Association of Woodturners, held in Phoenix in June. I was one of five recipients chosen for the award by the Professional Outreach Program. Especially exciting to me is that, whereas the other awards were given for single pieces, mine was awarded for the body of work I had on exhibit: six pieces, shown below.

The award-winning works are highlighted in the October issue of American Woodturner, inside the front cover.

At the symposium I also presented “Turn a Blind Eye,” a program about how to turn more safely, and spoke on “How to Make a Great Demonstration,” a panel with David Ellsworth and Andi Wolfe.

Work by Lynne Yamaguchi awarded a 2014 POP Excellence Award. Photo by Andi Wolfe.

Back row, from left: “Ashes to Ashes,” bleached and sandblasted ash; “Crackalicious,” eucalyptus; “Filled to the Brim,” spalted curly maple. Front row, from left: “It Comes in Waves,” bubinga; walnut bowl; “His,” walnut. Photo by Andi Wolfe, copyright 2014.

My tale of survival

AW29-3-27

The June issue of American Woodturner featured “Safety Matters: From the Eye of a Survivor,” an article I wrote describing my accident and discussing some of what I learned afterward about protecting myself. Please feel free to share it with any woodturners you know; I am hoping that it will save others from injury. It was accompanied by this exercise for determining your own risk at the lathe, along with a table comparing risk values.