Taking up woodturning was not something I started “out of the blue”. Having worked with woods for over forty years has given me a genuine appreciation for its beauty as well as the difficulty in producing a fine end result. One time at a friend’s house I saw a small gnarly manzanita bowl that took my breath away and at the same time said to me ‘you can do that’. Five years later, the enjoyment produced by taking a piece of burl, stump or just plain log continues to drive me to seek beauty through form.
When I am in my shop usually there is music in the background, a common attribute for many artists in whatever medium they work. It must be the rhythm. Music has been an important part of my entire life. I played the cello and bass for many years and learned the value of repetition from playing etudes and scales ad nauseum . They looked so easy, but to do them well required endless hours of practice. This same repetitive process has transferred itself to my woodturning. Like that first manzanita bowl, the time required to produce a quality piece is earned over time from practice, practice and more practice.
When you view my work, either in person or on my website, you will see few pieces that are similar, as I primarily work with stumps and burls, which many times simply would have been added to a burn pile elsewhere. My challenge is to take these pieces and turn them into something esthetically pleasing. For within each new piece generally there resides real beauty if you study and follow the character of the wood to a logical end point. Not everyone will like all or perhaps any of my work, but I spend an appreciable amount of time studying the wood before and during the turning process in an attempt to produce something pleasing to the eye.