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ABOUT WOODTURNING

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I use a LATHE to HAND-CRAFT ITEMS OF WOOD. It may seem strange to some to use the term HAND-CRAFT when using a machine, but the lathe is a very unique machine in that it is the only woodworking machine which "SPINS THE WOOD WHILE THE OPERATOR HOLDS THE CUTTING TOOL IN HAND. ALL other woodworking machines spin a cutting tool while the operator holds the wood. The lathe is unique in this regard.

My goal is not to TURN WOOD to produce functional objects. MY goal is to create ITEMS OF WOOD for the enjoyment of those people who love wood and pursue the visual and tactile properties of that material.

Often I am asked if the wood speaks to me? Does the piece of wood tell me what it wants to be? I wish it did. I wish it were that simple. For me there is a constant search for a design followed by a search for a piece of wood with which to faithfully render the design.

The process I employ involves both art and craft. The ART of the process involves the design and creativity necessary to envision a particular piece. The form must be conceived in the mind, refined in design true to the conception, and finally rendered to a design sketch. Finally the craftsmanship of the lathe operator is applied to a carefully selected piece of wood to produce the envisioned piece. The CRAFT of lathe turning is the ability of the lathe operator to precisely control the dynamics of holding a very sharp cutting tool against a rapidly spinning piece of wood while controlling the cutting process to produce a preconceived form. This is the essence of woodturning. This is the essence of my work.

There is a tension in the marriage of this art and this craft. The art conceives, while the craft strives to create, without compromise, true to the art. This is not an easy marriage. This marriage must be successful for the piece to survive.

I enjoy my work. I love it! I love the art process and the craft process. It is a selfish process as it gives me great pleasure to produce a unique ITEM OF WOOD having visual and tactile qualities which may be enjoyed beyond my future by those who treasure wood. The selfish nature of this process demands the ITEM please me. If it does not, it cannot carry the signature

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