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PEP101F23 Turn a Pepper Mill and More with Matt

June, 9 - June, 11 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST


Kitchen tools are functional, but they can also be beautiful — especially when they are turned by hand.

In this class, master turner Matt Monaco will teach you how to design, turn, and finish a beautiful pepper mill that will make an elegant addition to your kitchen, and a great way to add flavor to your meals. As a complement to the mill, you will also turn an elegant rolling pin and, if time permits, a utility bowl perfect for mixing or serving.

A spice mill — whether for pepper, salt, or other seasonings — is a workhorse of the kitchen, but it can also be a fantastic design opportunity for the wood turner, as it takes pride of place on the dining table.

For the mill, each student will start with a high-quality ceramic CrushGrind mechanism, which is adjustable and appropriate for grinding peppercorns, salt, or dried culinary spices.

By selecting your own wood blank and designing the height, shape, and details, you will be able to produce a truly custom mill perfect for use on your dining table — or for gifting to a lucky cook. 

The solid wood rolling pin is another wonderful opportunity to explore design options as you consider how to balance functionality and aesthetics, learning to shape both comfortable handles and a smooth working surface.

Time permitting, you will round out your kitchen collection with a simple but functional utility bowl.

Each piece is turned quite differently, giving you the opportunity to practice a variety of skills and techniques, including utilizing both cross-grain and end-grain orientation.

Matt will introduce you to the nuances of effective cutting, which he has developed through years working as a professional turner and maker. You will learn about the advantages of using both green and dry materials, and how to become more efficient at the lathe, as you produce two functional and unique finished pieces.

Under Matt’s guidance, you will learn how tool control, correct body mechanics, and the proper use of a variety of basic turning tools can produce exceptional results. You will also learn how simple tool modifications can greatly improve the cleanliness of your cuts and drastically reduce sanding.

By the end of the class, you will have both greatly improved turning skills and elegant new kitchen wares.

You will learn:

  • Proper body mechanics for successful turning
  • Basic tool modifications for better results on end grain
  • How to properly execute fine hand-turned details
  • How to practice for consistency
  • Methods to approach cutting centerwork for burnished surfaces
  • What makes a well-designed piece for better all-around craftsmanship
  • How to develop your own eye for form
  • A more advanced understanding of tool usage, theory, and application
  • The necessity of properly shaped & sharpened tools
  • Finishing options for turned objects

Prerequisites: None. All levels welcome. 

Tools required: None. All tools and materials supplied by the school.



Please read and understand our Refund and Cancellation policies. By making payment you acknowledge that you have read and understood these policies.

Please note: If you are paying by cash or check, your registration is not complete until payment is received.


Eye, hearing and dust protection are required in the machine room or when operating machines in the bench room.

Long sleeves and loose-fitting clothing are not allowed around the power equipment. Long hair must be pulled back and secured.

Closed-toe shoes are required. Open-toed shoes or sandals are not allowed.

COVID Policy: Masks are optional, however, if you are exhibiting symptoms of any contagious illness or if you have had a positive test for COVID or influenza within the past 5 days, please notify the school and do not attend class.

Thank you for your understanding.

Meet your Instructor

Professional woodturner Matt Monaco produces beautifully crafted bowls, plates, and platters from his studio in the Ozark region of Missouri. Combining thoughtful design and precise technique, Matt uses a standard lathe and turning tools to produce wood pieces that echo the precision and elegance of traditional pottery, creating a unique style that he rightfully describes as “wood-carved pottery.”

As the founder and owner of Monaco Bowls, Matt designs and creates turned products for homeowners, gallery buyers, museum stores, and interior designers. In addition to 19 years of turning experience he produces his own work, and demonstrates for national wood turning clubs of the AAW, and teaches at woodworking schools across the country.


June 9, 2023@9:00 am MST
June 11, 2023@5:00 pm MST
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Southwest School of Woodworking
621 N 7th Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85007 United States
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