What is Woodturning?
At the most basic level, woodturning is simply the shaping of a piece of wood, using a lathe to spin the wood and a gouge with a sharpened edge to remove wood from the evolving form. The craft of woodturning, however, goes far beyond this basic description. The use of various specialized tools and of techniques that continue to evolve both facilitate the creation of certain forms and spur on the imagination of the woodturner to respond to the unique opportunities presented by each new piece of wood.
For some woodturners the time spent at the lathe is a small fraction of the total effort required to finish a piece. This is especially the case for turners that work with freshly fallen trees. The work begins with the chainsaw. The tree is partitioned into sections determined and oriented with respect to trunk, limb, and any unusual features. At the lathe, the rounding of the piece reveals the grain and internal features of the wood which may then call for a reorientation of the wood on the lathe.
Sometimes the toughest decision is when to stop taking away wood. The constant question for the woodturner is what might the next layer of remove reveal. It's a risk, for what if the next layer might show something even better? But if the woodturner doesn't made the decision, he could end up with a very beautiful toothpick!
Throughout the work my objective is to reveal the inner beauty of the tree, to shape the presentation of that beauty and to have the end result be something that looks aesthetically natural.