I have had a seventy year love affair with wood. My Grandfather was a wooden shipwright, and my Dad was a carpenter. I guess I am living out a genetic predisposition. They started me at six, with a coping saw, a jack-knife, and a sharpening stone. I equipped every kid in the neighborhood with wooden swords. Sharp sticks to run with…good plan!
As time passed, I designed and made things. Was it a passion or an addiction? Toys and models. Crossbows and camping gear. Boats and furniture. All this with a limited set of tools.
When I retired, after 33 years in Boeing Customer Services, my plan was to acquire a complete set of woodworking tools. My wife urged me to get a lathe, even though it had been 40 years since my first junior high woodturning experience. Once tried it again, I was hooked.
The keys were the many varieties of wood and the near instant gratification of turning. If it’s wood, has a central axis, and will fit on my lathe, I’m interested. This is probably why I like commissions so much. Nearly twenty years and I still like it, even though I’ve developed wood allergies and have to work in what looks like a hazmat suit.
I’m primarily self-taught; mostly gaining skills from association with other wood turners in the Olympic Peninsula Woodturners Chapter of the AAW, and gaining artistic inspiration from my colleagues at Verksted Gallery.