Other than for a teaching application, I have never been asked, nor had occasion to write about myself. Not with cooking, bar ownering, sailboat living, picture taking or designing has anyone wanted to hear about me. In search for a simpler existence, I find myself writing more often, explaining myself to others who seem puzzled when I tell them I make furniture by hand. Watching the printing and photography industries disappear, the respect for typography along with it, changed me so much I became a teacher. I hoped to make sure new students of design would care and respect the long traditions they have chosen to immerse themselves in. Once again, our city, our society in general is in flux.
Turning wood objects on a lathe is a long and never ending journey. From finding wood to seasoning, rough turning, final shaping and finishing, a bowl could take over a year to complete. There are many steps along the way, each one a learning exercise in patience and further respect for nature. It is true when they say the wood will reveal itself in what it wants to become. When you see the chatoyance (reflective glow like a cat’s eye) from an old log come out, you have to stop and admire its natural beauty.
Looking back into history, I find a rich and well documented profession in wood turning. Every town or village had one, just like a blacksmith or cooper, your namesake could well indeed have come from a Turner of the past. Spindles, tableware, tools and toys were some of the things a wood turner had to make, often the most popular tradesman with children as it was pride of place to make the longest spinning top or the best wooden doll in the village. Every piece that comes off my lathe brings me a little closer to my past. Thank you for looking at my work.
De terra fit patera.