I live in the “North Woods” of central Wisconsin with my wife Karen. I am a retired public school administrator and my wife is a retired registered nurse. Our children/grandchildren live in southern Wisconsin. As the crow flies, we are about 30 miles from Lake Superior. We are in a great place for people that enjoy cross-country and down hill skiing as snow is a constant during the months of December thru March. We also have some terrific paved bike trails and a number of mountain biking trails. More than 60 percent of our county is public woodland that affords terrific hunting. My “Wood Working Season” is limited to times of the year that are not conducive to these activities. Still, I really value time spent in my shop and find that I continually resolve to increase that time. I am fortunate to have a large metal building to house my shop. The in-floor heating system is fueled by wood and or LP gas. A 5 hp Onieda dust collection system keeps things as clean as they can be in a woodworking shop.
Our area of Wisconsin is a hub for logging. The plentiful supply of maple, yellow birch and red oak gives me a lot of raw material for experimenting with a variety of projects. I have been making end grain cutting boards for friends and family. All of my boards are impregnated with mineral oil and bees wax. I like to tell people that they will last for generations. I have an American Beauty Lathe (made in Wisconsin) that is a terrific tool and supports any project that I can imagine turning. I have started to experiment with shallow bowls and platters that I texture and/or color with paint/dye. All of this aside, most of my time is spent with segmented work. Our website is a great source of inspiration for projects. I find so many beautiful vessels with exquisite detail that I dream about making. At this point I have focused on basic designs and shapes with plans to build bigger, better and more complicated objects.
I attended one of the first SWT national conferences held in Indianapolis. This was a great learning opportunity and I hope to attend another event soon. I have been a member of the
North Woods Turners club for the past 10 years. Meetings are generally held in a member’s shop and allow for sharing of new ideas and demonstrations. We have also taken advantage of on-line live demos offered by professional turners.