My first try at turning occurred when I was about eight years old. I broke the smokestack on a sand-lot dump truck my dad made for me. When I came to him for a repair he put me on a box at the lathe and had me make the new one from a bit of birch dowel. Some fifty years later I found the dump truck in the barn, serving as home for a family of opossums. I rescued the smokestack and still have it in the turnery. The lathe is still in use as well, residing with a nephew who is, among other things, a fine knife maker.
After lots of years of an on-again, off-again relation with wood I began working seriously in the late 1980's. In '93 my son Josiah and I built a free-standing shop in the back yard and the Turnery was born. I have learned the craft largely on my own, but have gained a great deal from a stint at Arrowmont with Michael Mocho and Mark St. Leger, attendance at several American Association of Woodturners' symposia, participation in our local bi-annual symposium, the North Carolina Woodturners' Symposium, and, perhaps most importantly, membership in the Piedmont Triad Woodturners' Association, where I am currently President.
When I am not turning I do a bit of flat woodwork and spend quite a bit of time working around our small tree farm here in North Carolina. I also have been quite involved in photography; visit my Fine Art America site here. Additionally in 2016 I retired from the Chair of the Department of Economics at Elon University. I occasionally miss the classroom, but I seldom miss the meetings.
Some time back a student needed a subject for an exercise in a Communications class. This is the result.
Hollowing a small ring box.
This video was made by Taylor Shain as his entry in the "Wood is Good" competition in 20016.
Elon University's quarterly magazine, The Magazine of Elon was kind enough to feature me in a regular section entitled "Campus Uncommons". You can read the article by following this link.