There is nothing quite like wood, and the wood around us every day is some of the most interesting. That's why the vast majority of my work is made from locally salvaged, urban and suburban trees. Destined to be burned or just left to rot, I retrieve these logs and uncover beautiful objects hidden inside. I feel like I give the tree a second life with each item I make from it.
Starting with a salvaged log, which I likely picked up off the side of the road or maybe spotted a tree crew that was kind enough to pass along some logs, I carefully observe the wood - maybe for minutes, maybe for days - admiring all the features in the grain and envisioning how they will best highlight a bowl, vase, vessel or box. Big logs are broken down with a chainsaw, then a bandsaw, until I have a rough blank. On my lathe, I'll round out the blank and start by roughing the shape of the piece. Using both traditional woodturning tools as well as shop made tools, cut by cut, the bowl or vessel begins to emerge. I fine tune the piece, stopping the lathe frequently to ensure my design complements the wood or vice versa. After sanding, I apply a finish to the piece and buff it to a soft glow.
I am a self-taught woodturner. When I bought my first lathe, I didn't really know what woodturning was. Experience was my primary teacher, but a few books also helped along the way. I quickly moved from pens, keychains and other small items to bowls and vases. That's when I really started exploring forms and wood species. I turned a few hundred small bowls from any and every wood I could get my hands on, while also honing my technical skills, making up my own methods and processes, and carefully examining form and finish. Now, I often view my turnings as blank canvases for carving, sculpting, dyeing and other embellishments as I grow as an artist.
Whether I'm highlighting the natural beauty of the wood and the features within it, or I'm stretching beyond the traditional craft with striking design elements and bright colors, every piece I create gets individual attention. Along with form, colors, and finish, texture plays a significant role in my work, as I not only want each piece to look amazing, I want it to feel amazing. But, more than anything, I want people to enjoy my work as much as I enjoy creating it.