Tampa woman who lost vision teaches visually impaired wood turning
TAMPA, Fla. - A woman who lost her sight did not let that stop her from succeeding at learning and teaching others a new skill.
Andi Sullivan knows the importance of having your senses.
"When your sight impaired, your world becomes a little smaller," she shared.
Legally blind woodturner funds charitable works
with fashion design
TAMPA, Fla. - Andi Sullivan enjoys showing off her fashion creations. She's an unexpected star in her field, considering she's legally blind.
Andi is the owner of Originals by Andi. She designs one-of-a-kind ladies denim jackets.
"I love the material so much," she explained. "Everything is kind of different so that they are special in their own way."
Andi Sullivan Miller never planned to be a fashion designer, but then she never planned a lot of things.
Like having three strokes, the first at age 30, and going blind due to a genetic disease. Like developing lupus and being unable to walk for three years and losing the full use of her hands. Like becoming an expert at woodturning and starting programs across the United States and Canada at Lighthouse for the Blind & Low Vision. Like designing her own line of beautiful one-of-a kind ladies denim jackets.
Jun 27-30, 2013
During AAW’s 2013 international symposium in Tampa, and in coordination with AAW’s Accessible Lathe Program, we organized a program for the Tampa chapter of the Lighthouse for the Blind, a nonprofit organization. With the assistance of Lighthouse staff members Sheryl Brown and Chelsea Bridges, we had eight blind individuals from the Lighthouse attend a session in which they were able to handle turned objects. Afterward, with individual assistance, they each successfully turned a pen in the Youth room, thanks to the gracious help Allen Miller and Andi Sullivan of Larry Miller, Joe Ruminski and several volunteers. The response to this program was fantastic. The attendees were extremely enthusiastic and are eager to continue their woodturning experience. To develop an ongoing woodturning
Blind Wood Turner
Jun 20, 2015
Lighthouse for the Blind - Blind women with their first time using a wood lathe.
Aug 31, 2014
In 2010, Andi discovered woodturning and that has changed her life. Andi and her husband, Dr. Allen Miller, attended the 2010 American Association of Woodturners (AAW) Symposium in Hartford, Connecticut. As Allen described the wood pieces on display—no touching was permitted—Malcolm Zander, a Canadian turner, rushed up to her with one of his wood creations and said, “You can hold my piece.”
Andi was so inspired by that experience that she decided she wanted to learn woodturning. She contacted Kurt Hertzog about a class he was going to teach at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and although he had never taught a blind student he agreed to try.