Hello there, my name is Robert (Bob, Rocky) Rocheleau, I am a retired Architect. I started working with wood when I was in the fourth grade ( when woodshop was still a part of the educational system) and continued through high school. After graduating high school, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving four years active duty as a Jet Aircraft Mechanic on F-100 fighter jets. While in the Air Force , I married my wife of 65 years, Mary Lou. We have 2 children , a daughter and a son, no grandkids!! After my discharge from the Air Force, I spent the next 8 years as an Architectural Drafter full time and attending college ¾ time and starting a family. I received my Bachelor of Architecture Degree and became a Registered Architect. I soon became (4 years later) I became a full Partner in a 20-person firm that lasted for years. Over the next 30 years, I worked for a number of national and international A/E firms.
 
Throughout my Professional Career, I maintained my interest woodworking, building furniture, cabinets, tables, entertainment centers for my home, my daughter’s home and remodeling my son’s home. I also built cabinets for and entertainment centers for other clientele.
 
Contemplating retirement after 50 years as a Professional Architect, I started looking at what I would do with my time, sitting all day watching “Soap Operas” all day didn’t excite me what so ever. Since I enjoy working with my hands, being active, I naturally gravitated toward woodworking, but since my house already full of cabinets and furniture I needed something new. During some rare downtime between projects in the office, I came upon a few woodturning videos. That sparked my interest , it was working with my hands and wood. I soon added a Delta Mini Lathe to my collection of shop tools in my overcrowded 2 car garage. After a few months of teaching myself to turn spindles and bowls, without creating flying objects, I discovered and joined the New Mexico Woodturners Association and then the AAW. With my background as an Architect, I naturally started gravitating to the design and construction of segmented pieces. I, like many other segmenters watched Videos by Kurt Theobold and purchased books by Malcom Tibbets and the works of Ray Allen. After displaying a few of my pieces at the monthly local meeting, a fellow club member, who was the club president at the time, suggested I should look into the National Chapter of Segmented Woodturners. I joined the Segmented Woodturners in 2019 and have participated in the last 3 Holiday Swaps
 
As a member of the New Mexico Woodturners, I have demonstrated and displayed my work at the New Mexico State Fair for the past 8 years, winning many awards. I have also served as “Greenwood Chairman” for 4 years and most recently as “Equipment and Special Projects Chairman”. I along with a fellow member of NMWT gave a 2 session meeting presentation on “the Basics of Segment Design, Preparation and Construction” at the January and February 2023 club meeting.
 
Living in Albuquerque New Mexico, surrounded by Native American culture, much of my segmented pieces have been influenced by the Native American / southwestern potter and designs.  I do like to experiment and will venture into new designs and techniques that tweak my interest.

One Response to “”

  1. Hello Bob. Thank you so much for your article. Interesting piece and wonderful turnings. Thanks for sharing your story!-Robin

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