Throughout my adult life, I have dabbled in woodworking as I pursued formal careers as an engineer, a college professor, a personal trainer, and a health coach. My woodworking was primarily focused on making the furniture that we could not find in stores. After our furniture needs were satisfied, I sought other ways to enjoy the challenges of woodworking. While living in Montana, I developed an interest in wood turning.
I love the natural beauty of wood, both the grain patterns as well as the imperfections that nature has endowed a piece of wood. With wood turning, I am able to highlight those features, through the design of the final product as well as the use of finishes that highlight these grain patterns instead of hiding them. Forrest Gump, in the classic film, stated that “life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re gonna get.” I have found that the same is true of wood; I never know what grains, flaws, and unique beauty I will find until I begin turning a piece of wood.
I find wood turning to offer a creative challenge and an opportunity to continue to grow my passion for wood with new skills and new variations. Turning presents an endless stream of design possibilities. My turning interests most often lead me to make bowls, with a goal of what I refer to as “functional art.” To me, that means a bowl that is designed to be functional in its dimensions and its durability, and also provides a piece that is visually appealing as well. However, I do seek other handmade alternatives, such as pens, seam rippers, and scroll sawn plaques.