As a wood turner, I feel very fortunate to have lived most of my life on a farm in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. With so many species and subspecies of hardwoods right here, I have little need to look far from home to find really nice wood.
I’ve been wood working most of my life. I bought my first lathe when I was about twenty years old. I used it off and on through the years; making table legs, spindles and a few bowls. Then the lathe set idle for a long time. In 2006, my son, Chuck, took up wood turning in a big way. He kept encouraging me to get back to turning. For a few years, I was happy just to help him harvest wood and to share what knowledge I had with wood. It wasn’t until 2009 that I turned my first natural edge bowl. I was hooked.
I have been a member of “Brasstown Woodturners Guild “for a couple of years.
A lot of my wood comes from friends and acquaintances who are removing trees that have become undesirable or storm damaged. Highly figured wood often comes from what I call “town trees” that are usually old and have been aggressively pruned in past decades. This often results in unusual color and grain patterns. When time allows, I love to get together with my son and other wood working friends to harvest wood. This usually involves quite a bit of work. It can be a great deal for the homeowner. Tree removal for free, brush cleaned up and a nice bowl (with sentimental values). When the logs are hauled back to the shop, the decisions have to be made as how to best cut them into blocks that will yield the best the wood has to offer. Sometimes it takes only a moment to know where to cut; other times, it takes hours or even weeks to decide. The blocks are shaped to a rough form with a chain saw; then turned while still green. I always try to imagine what is inside the wood and do my best to design and shape the vessel. More often than not, “mother nature” has more to do with the end result. Sometimes it is a “strikeout”, but once in a while it is a “home run” and that is what keeps me going.
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"