Artist's Statement

I produce a wide variety of 100% hand-made, turned-wood items made on a lathe. My work ranges from small items like ornaments and bottle stoppers to varying sizes and designs of bowls, vases, natural edge items, hollow vessels, sculptural pieces and novelty items such as wood cowboy hats. Having worked with and around wood all of my life in some form, I truly love using wood as a medium to create unique items which are functional and/or decorative. With wood as the raw material and the hand-turning process, no two items are ever exactly the same.

The majority of my work originates from selectively salvaged wood which might otherwise be destined for the local landfill or used as firewood. It typically starts with rough, green wood in log, burl or root form; the trees which provide the raw material are primarily North Carolina hardwoods, almost all of which originate from friends and family when they are felled by storms, or are removed based on need or for the clearing of land. My eyes/ears are always open after a windy storm passes through. Acquiring the material can be quite an experience and there are some interesting stories to be told on that front. While you could consider the material “free”, the tree donor may receive an item created from the tree and significant personal effort typically goes into cutting up a tree, cleaning up the site and hauling it to the shop. Bigger is typically better in terms of the original raw wood.

With the wood hauled to the shop, the focus shifts to achieving the best use of the wood from perspective of appearance, function and size. A chainsaw is used to rough-shape the wood for shaping on the lathe. With the wood on the lathe, traditional turning tools (gouges, chisels, etc.) are used to form the object. The item originates from wet wood and it must be properly handled and stored after turning to allow it dry before it can be finished; depending on the design, many objects are turned a second time in the dry state before they will be finished. Some items undergo surface embellishments and/or other forms of shaping/carving. After sanding each item, the final step is to permanently scribe it to identify the wood species, my name/initials and the date of creation. A substantial effort is then required to apply a finish which is unique to the intended application of the object. When you see my work, don’t hesitate to pick it up; I pride myself in a superior, high quality finish on all of my items - I hope the quality speaks to you!

I am continually learning and trying new things. Much of my education comes through trial-and-error and from interacting with or observing other turners. My father and I both create things from wood; Dad taught me to work with wood when I was a young boy and when my passion for turning wood ignited in 2005, I was excited to be able to rekindle in him a similar enthusiasm to the craft. I am currently a member of the American Association of Woodturners and the local AAW chapter Piedmont Triad Woodturner’s Association. Between my dad and personal/organizational affiliations, I am continually motivated and inspired in the art and craft of woodturning.

Waldroup Woodworks represents two generations of creating sawdust - a father and son who create unique, high-quality items using wood as a medium

Waldroup Woodworks
Joe's Phone 828-389-3117


"And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship"

Exodus 31:3

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