2017 April 22 - Virginia Meeting at Jean Sumnerís Nautilus Home
raises over $3,400 for IWCS
by Art Lee L7984
If you had never seen Jean's nautilus-shaped home in Riner, Virginia,
April's SE Regional meeting was probably the last chance to see it in person.
After many happy years living in the home she and her husband, Lloyd, built by
hand, Jean has decided to move from the bucolic vistas of the Virginia
mountains to Seattle, Washington to be near her family. Through the many years
of professional turning and being a member of IWCS, Jean had accumulated a
treasure trove of exotic and regional woods. Earlier this year, Chis Nothnagle convinced Jean to
host an IWCS regional meeting where she could auction off most her wood collection
in preparation for her move to the west coast. Jean decided to donate the
proceeds of the auction to IWCS.
Jean spent many days
working to organize her lumber barn, identifying and labeling wood, hauling
wood from her basement and shop, but much was left to do the day before the
meeting. Mark Weaver and Chris arrived Friday to help with last minute details.
"Mark and Chris were both a huge help," said Jean. Mark and his son, Josiah, helped
finish organizing the wood in the barn. "Of course, that task could never
really be finished, but those Weavers were real troopers, working in the dust
and mess to uncover treasure I had not yet had time or strength to unearth." Eric
Krum arrived Friday afternoon, adding some muscle and knowledge to identify
some dusty unknowns. I totally misjudged the drive time and traffic from my
home in Maryland to Riner, and arrived just in time
to join Eric, Chris and Jean at Buffalo and More restaurant in "downtown" Riner(population 859) for a buffalo mushroom cheese burger.
HamptonRoads.com wrote an article called The 30 places to eat in Virginia Before You Die. Buffalo and More is #9 on the list!
Saturday started with unfriendly skies. The weather reports predicted heavy rain. "I began the day a little disappointed with the low turnout and threatening weather, but despite some rain and a limited number of bidders, we had a great day," said Jean.
Duane and Roslyn Keck drove
from South Carolina, Paul and Kris Troyer came from Indiana, and Mark and Ellen
Peet drove from northeastern Pennsylvania with their daughter Kimberlee. Eric Krum drove
from Elkton, Maryland and Chris Nothnagle came from Fork
Union, Virginia. "Everyone here, as we do in IWCS, pitched in, especially when
it started raining. Even my contra dancer friend, Mary Ann was moving wood and
organizing the sold lots, while her woodworking partner, Mike was bidding."†Mike had the highest bid of the day, $500 for
3 shoulder-high stacks of walnut lumber. "He is not a member, yet!"
quipped Jean. Mark Peet, Duane and Mary Ann organized the winning bid items into
stacks. Kris Troyer kept track of the winning bids. Chris was the head
auctioneer, keeping the items moving quickly through the bidding process. He
and Eric won dozens of bids and both filled their full-sized pickup trucks with
At lunch, no one went hungry. Chris brought mountains of food and Jean provided drinks and lots of
cookies. Everyone enjoyed dining inside the Nautilus while looking out at the mist covered mountains.
I asked Jean how the day went. "I think we all enjoyed ourselves, including the 5 local non-members who
were bidding. We had 19 attendees, with 12 bidders, and a couple of proxies. I'd hoped for more local folks, but apparently,
several people cancelled for weather or other activities." Did everything go in
the auction? "There is still more in the barn, although I think we sold most of
the valuable pieces. I'll bring the manageable leftovers to Shipshewana." How
did the auction go? "I confirmed Chris' and Kris' tally, our final total from
the live auction was $US 3,417. I am so pleased to be able to make this
contribution to IWCS."
After the auction, Mary Ann, Mark and I helped load trucks. Seven of us enjoyed a home-style family dinner out together in nearby Floyd, VA, tired but happy.
Jean's parting thoughts were, "Thank you to all who came, carried, identified and bid. See you in Shipshewana!"
|Click images to enlarge.
The Sumner Nautilus home
The studio building is just steps away from the main home.
Mary Ann and Jean share a laugh after the auction was over. Mary Ann and Mark Peet organized all of the winning items in batches to facilitate loading.
Chris Nothnagle auctions off one of the many big leaf maple turning blanks.
Jean greeted guests in front of her studio.
Jean talked about the construction of the Nautilus with Eric and Paul.
Jean starts the auction. Mark Peet (orange shirt) wrangled most of the items with Mary Ann after each successful auction bid. Kris Troyer recorded all the winning bids. The covered area provided shelter against the afternoon downpour.
The mountains from Jean's back yard. The storm clouds were rolling through.