Woodturning is exhilarating. Seeing a from take shape as I guide the tools is nothing short of magical. Long before I began turning wood, I knew my Lord and Savior placed his gift of creativity in me. I have written poetry, played music and I believe that I was uniquely made to create. Using these gifts He has given me brings me great pleasure.
“In creating we mimic and pay homage to the Creator.”― Jeffrey Fry
I never had “shop class”. My journey to woodturning started when I lived in NJ. I had a friend who had a woodworking shop and we would meet regularly to make things. I was teaching myself woodworking, learning different joinery techniques, and how to build things from flat boards. There was the occasional article on woodturning in my reading. I remember one article in particular that stood out – A turner collected scraps of wood that others had discarded and glued them together making designs and then turned items from them. I am not one to throw things away and love to give new life to discarded things, so this appealed to me. Today, some refer to this as up-cycling. My NJ friend also had a lathe and some tools. Neither of us knew how to turn but I tried my hand at it. I still have the shallow bowl I turned. Several years later I went to a woodworking show. One of the vendors allowed you to turn a pen. Again I didn’t know what I was doing but walked away with my first very own turned pen. At that time, I didn’t own a lathe so I couldn’t pursue it further. I went on to make small furniture and other things for the home and that desire to turn lied dormant. My ever insightful wife recognized that dormant desire and surprised me on our 5th anniversary with my first lathe. It was then that I started to turn in earnest. Once I began turning, you can say I was hooked. I thoroughly researched every aspect of turning and taught myself through trial and error and lots of practice. Taking a piece of wood and making something useful and pretty was like magic before my eyes.
Over the years I have made many things using various woods. Most of the wood I use is local to Virginia and up-recycled. I often get calls from folks and friends letting me know they either have or have seen a tree that is destined for the fire woodpile. Some wood comes from our own property.
The few pieces of non-local wood are sustainable and are usually “Cut-offs” that again would be discarded and go unused. If I had not rescued it, most of the wood I use would be destined for the fire. I love giving new life to things that previously appear worthless.
Please enjoy the galleries of my previously turned items and see what is currently available for purchase. To see the story of how I make some of the items, go to my blog.
— Dave Hickman