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In Memoriam

David Nittmann, 1944–2014

David Nittmann died on August 13 after a valiant and protracted battle with cancer. He was 69.

Born in Schenectady, New York, David was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in wildlife biology and a Master of Science degree in watershed management from Colorado State University. From his earliest memory, David enjoyed playing with wood in his grandfather’s workshop. Later, he worked in industrial, commercial, and residential construction before starting his own cabinet and furniture shop in 1980. That venture led him to the lathe, which became his passion.

In 1994, he co-founded the Rocky Mountain Woodturners in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he served as president for the club’s first three years. He remained active with that club and with the Front Range Woodturners in Denver, most recently serving as program director for both AAW chapters.

David was a well-known woodturning demonstrator and panelist. He demonstrated at national symposia as well as at regional events and woodturning clubs. He also taught at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and at the John C. Campbell Folk School. David’s artwork was juried into the best national arts/crafts shows, including the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the American Craft Exposition, the Washington Craft Show, and the Sculptural Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) shows in New York and Chicago.

In David’s signature style, the “basket illusion,” he turned, beaded, burned, and dyed his pieces to create the visual and tactile impression of a woven form. He was an authority on the use of color and used the airbrush to create beautifully colored images on his woodturnings. He often collaborated with Cindy Drozda, his long-time partner and love of his life, to create strikingly beautiful basket illusions with Cindy’s elegant forms and graceful finials. He and Cindy also collaborated on presentations, their “Left Brain—Right Brain” demonstration being widely acclaimed.

David was beloved in the woodturning community and will be remembered for his broad smile, wonderful demeanor, keen sense of humor, dynamic intellect, and tremendous generosity in sharing his knowledge and talents with everyone. He will be profoundly missed by his family and many friends. David is survived by his son Eric Nittmann of Newport, Rhode Island; daughter Kerry Nittmann Manning of Fort Collins, Colorado; Kerry’s four children: Riley, Ellie, Clara, and Garrett; his loyal feline companion, Carter; and Cindy Drozda of Boulder, Colorado.

Our Next Meeting

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 2nd (August Newsletter)

We meet on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:15 to 9:15 PM in the basement of Rockler. Visitors and new members are always welcome.




Thanks to Danny King, Dennis Fanning, and Jim Proud for volunteering to clean up after the August meeting.

The September Clean Up Crew volunteers are Sandy Perry, Mark Hanson, and Christine Hanson

Meeting place

  • Rockler Woodworking and Hardware (map)
  • 2553 S. Colorado Blvd #108
  • Denver, CO 80222
  • Website: rockler.com

At a Glance

  • Regular Meeting, September 2nd, 6:30 PM
  • Executive Board Meeting, October 11th, 9 AM
  • Shop Tour, August 23rd, 1 PM, Gene Wentworth
  • Ladies of the Lathe, discontinued until new chair is found


September - TBA

Turning Challenge

August Winners

  • Advanced - Grove Brown
  • Beginner - Camille Wall

Perpetual Turning

Ron Ainge took home Tom Wirsing’s maple bowl

September Challenge

Woodburned and/or carved textured surface

Instant Gallery

  • Follow the Gallerylink to view the Show and Tell, Demo, and Shop Tour galleries for May.

Shop Tours

August 23: Gene Wentworth

  • 3961 S. Hillcrest Dr.
  • Denver, CO
  • Join us starting at 1PM at Gene's for a look at his basement shop.

Scheduled Shop Tours

None at this time


Note: trouble reading an item's description, click the "Agenda" tab for a better view

Rocky Mountain Woodturners Symposium

Empty Bowl Event

  • Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
  • Terrace Gardens, Ken Caryl Event Center
  • If you'd like to donate a bowl (or more than one) please drop them off by the end of the September meeting.

Blind Woodturners

    We have a great opportunity to give back to the woodworking community. There is going to be a group of blind woodworkers in town on September the 10th-the 12th and they are looking to try some woodturning. The event will be held on September the 10th and we are looking for people to help out with mentoring. Some have had some experience at turning. They are looking at turning a pin and maybe a blow. The have some experience with the easy tools, so if you have some of these tools and are willing to loan them for the day that would be very helpful. If you can help in any way please send me an e-mail or give me a call. (rbobkb0xt@aol.com)(720-290-1662).