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Although my first exposure to wood-turning was in school, in England, I did not pick it up again until six years ago. In the meantime, between raising a family and earning a living, I worked in various art forms. These included stained glass, pottery, leather and bead-work . I always seemed to have the need to "create" something. Even while working with heavy equipment I managed to satisfy this creative urge by building ponds and rock retaining walls in any down-time.
Then one day I dusted off an old Shopsmith that had been my father's, and the addiction began. It was not long before I was craving a bigger and more efficient and -- oh yes -- a more expensive lathe. Then there were tools to buy and....and the addiction steadily grows. With each turned piece I try to duplicate the high of that first taste. Add to that the excitement of cutting into a piece of wood that would otherwise be relegated to the wood pile and discovering the beautiful grain patterns and colors that nature provides, and I was totally hooked. I soon discovered that wood was the perfect medium for my artistic expression.
I am always on the lookout for suitable trees that have to be removed because of overcrowding, storm damage, or environmental reasons. I give these rejected trees a new life, that of art or function. Most of the wood I use is native to NW Montana.
So here I am today, hoping that the fruits of my addiction will find a home with someone, whether to hold a salad, or to sit in place of honor on the mantle.
No two pieces are ever the same. The forms may be similar, but the variations in grain pattern and color are endless. Even the way in which wood moves as it dries gives it its own personality. If you see something you like, I can make a piece that is similar, but I can never duplicate what mother nature has given to each piece of wood. Nor would I want to. I try to make a form that is pleasing to the hand as well as to the eye, and choose a finish that complements both. Most of the art pieces are finished with lacquer, then buffed and polished to a rich luster. Functional pieces such as salad bowls are soaked in food-grade mineral oil and need to be periodically treated with a fresh coat.
I have recently had inquiries and orders for Cremation Urns, so those have been added to my production list. They are all hand turned on the lathe, each one an original. They are a carefully created piece of art that can be treasured by the family for years to come. Each urn has a threaded lid to safely secure the contents. I list the type of wood, finish used and volume in cubic inches.
detail of copper inlay on wooden bowl
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