Artist | Woodturner | Teacher
Four events beginning in 1968 launched my woodturning career: first, my mother-in-law gave me a small table lathe with its single scraping chisel; second, a copy of Peter Child's book The Craftsman Woodturner (1971) sent me struggling to master the skew chisel; third, the Woodcraft Corporation catalog arrived, offering high-quality tools well beyond the choices in our local hardware store; and fourth, a local lumber salesman/designer challenged me to turn 106 thin, long, pine stair balustrades for a historic restoration job. Steadily since 1973, I have enjoyed a full calendar of turning multiples, matching architectural and furniture designs in large and small sizes, pursuing my own artistic visions, and teaching others the pleasure of “cutting wood the way it likes to be cut” to achieve a pleasing shape.
As a 38-year career teacher, administrator and board member in private schools, I shared woodturning and my enthusiasm for the artistic balance of form, shape, texture, color, and dimension with many middle and high school students and faculty members. Two generous Educational Opportunity Grants from the American Association of Woodturners made this especially successful in my more recent school. Similarly, as a charter member of the Chesapeake Woodturners (founding treasurer and webmaster) and one who prefers to turn multiples, spindles, and use the magic skew chisel above all other tools, I benefitted from being asked to demonstrate and teach others.
Now retired from schools to live, teach, and turn full-time in my shop in Maine, I demonstrate traditional woodturning twice weekly in July and August for the public at the local Wilson Museum in Castine as well as supply turned items and tools to wooden boat restorers and Maine Maritime Academy students. The blend of my passion for turning and my enjoyment in teaching has enhanced my commitment to our craft and art. My enthusiasm for woodturning allows me to learn from each student I teach. Having two of my sons seek me out as adults wanting to learn to turn and develop as turning artists brought a wonderful new dimension to our relationship and family. Now they, like many of my students, surpass me with their talents but continue to ask my guidance, opinion, and occasional demonstration.
I enjoy my volunteer service in the national community of woodturners where I join the impressive community of woodturner leaders who have been my friends over the years both in person and through the many publications of the American Association of Woodturners and its chapters. With them, I join in on the pursuit of the perfect tool, the perfect design, and the perfect day in the shop turning wood and revealing the artistically pleasing shapes, form, textures, and colors within.