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Lignam Vitae bowls and ebony-maple cande

My interest in woodturning began in grade school shop class back when there were more teachers than lawyers. It lay dormant until adulthood when I acquired a lathe and began to self instruct, remaining on chapter one for many years despite membership in Western New York Woodturners where I witnessed the work of many superb turners. Pepper mills held a special fascination because of their combination of utility and artistic expression. Finally in 2008 I resolved to learn. Early mills ground pepper but resembled fire hydrants. But with the support and generosity of the late Dave Elberson, proprietor of Buffalo Forest Products, the materials and equipment needed to develop some competence became readily available.

Sometime around 2010 I happened on a brief video of a Swedish turner doing an offset goblet with a regular scroll chuck. Intrigued, I attempted it with disappointing results before I caught on. Then wondered if several offsets on a stem would be possible. It was and I was hooked. I began making goblets and candelabras testing limits on number of offsets. Made it to six and that was pushing. The centrifugal forces are powerful to say nothing of no tail support and rubbing a bevel on a "surface" that’s 3/4 air! But, as the site shows, I managed quite a few with only a couple casualties. I have no skill with video but the one and only is here to the left. And while I enjoy the eccentric pieces, I try my hand at a variety of more traditional lathe pieces — mills, bowls, trays, wooden jewelry, etc.

Selected pieces are on display and available for purchase at the Burchfield Penney Gallery gift shop in Buffalo, NY.

Click any image in the slide show or gallery for enlargement and description.


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