Member of Trail Networks:
Virginia Oyster Trail Site Number:
Professional Distinction: Commission/Custom Work, Consignment/Retail, Demonstrations
I have always believed we humans are connected to the greater environment, and as such we utilize the things nature provides us as raw materials to advance our own existence by building and making things that enrich our lives. In this age where so much is disposable, and most items are mass produced, I think the inherent value of pieces that are made in the tradition of timeless craftsmanship and enduring natural beauty, help us keep in touch with our ancestral roots. The items I produce from wood are mostly one of a kind, hand made, labor intensive pieces of functional art….......things that display this timeless tradition of the artisan maker.
It is important to me to be a good steward of the natural resources and utilize them for good purpose and effect. That is part of what draws me to wood as a palette for my wood turnings and other wood projects; as the inherent artistry of nature itself, is contained in the grain structure, colors and textures in wood. Beautiful things can be made from this important natural resource. I truly enjoy bringing out nature’s artistry in my wood turnings. The addition of my skills to what nature provides, makes the collaboration of artist and nature a special bond.
I like using woods with contrasting colors and unique grain structures to make things that are both functional pieces and art. Sometimes both of those goals can be met in the same piece…..a functional art piece, such as a lidded box with an artistic component such as a geometric shape, used as a container for display on a coffee table, for example, or a flower vase that has as much to show in the form as the flower arrangement itself. Wood items such as a bowl, can include naturally occurring components such as bark inclusions, burl and other unique grain structure, and colorations from naturally occurring fungi [spalting] that make for beautiful and organic utilitarian pieces. Many of the woods I use are local to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but I do use woods from other parts of America and some from other continents as they become available to me.
The process by which these functional and art pieces are accomplished is first of all harvesting the wood with chainsaw and then by cutting the wood to a manageable size and mounting them on a lathe, either between centers [for spindle work] or by means of a scroll chuck [bowls, hollow forms, vases, etc.] and using handheld tools such as gouges, skew chisels,or boring bars and cutting away the wood that is not to be a part of the final piece, while the lathe spins the wood. The finish process involves much sanding through numerous grits, becoming finer as the piece progresses. When sanding is completed, then a finish is applied, which can be a matte finish or a gloss finish, depending on the purpose of the piece.