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Woodturning allows me a unique way to express creativity and craftsmanship.

I often start with “up-cycled” materials: trees removed from someone’s yard, wood intercepted on its way to the dump, pieces rescued from the firewood pile, or native trees removed for conservation efforts or fire prevention.

When using found wood as a medium, I rarely design a thing before I start making it. I start with an idea, but it is not until I cut into the wood and see what lies inside that I can start to work with what Mother Nature has provided. Sometimes I find beautiful figure, other times there are defects that need to be avoided (or even highlighted). Those discoveries often mean completely changing the form I thought I was creating. I enjoy responding to and working with nature in this way.

I sometimes explore ways to enhance and accent the wood using color, burning, fill material, etc. One unique technique I like uses high-voltage electricity to burn Lichtenberg Fractal patterns (lightening) into the wood. I call these “Tesla Bowls“.

I also make wooden Shot Barrels – a small oak whisky barrel, charred on the inside just like a real barrel. And yes, you can actually drink from them!

I have the privilege of being able to turn wood in my shop and studio in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado.


Gallery

Goblets

I am really enjoying making these goblets. The tallest ones in the picture are about 10″ tall.

Ant Colony Hollow form

When I cut into this piece of Mesquite, I discovered the former home of a colony of ants. Fortunately they had moved on long before I acquired the wood. I left the walls thick to retain the natural edges left by the former occupants. There was not much wood to work with on the bottom, … Continue reading Ant Colony Hollow form

Burned and Dyed Ash

These ash hollowforms were burned with a torch. The torch charred the early wood (large pores) before burning the late wood (more solid places). I then used red dye to color them.

Collection of Bowls

A collection of utility bowls I have made recently. The largest ones are around 12″ diameter. There are various woods here: walnut, maple, pine, oak, birch, and an ash burl.

Nativity

I was inspired by a clip from this video by Sam Angelo and made a nativity set for the family.  I happened to have a bowl that I’d gone too thin on the bottom, so I could cut it to made the manger.

Another Forest

I did a demo for Rocky Mountain Woodturners in November, showing how to make a bunch of christmas tree ornaments.  The club made a video.   After that demo, I finished making all three rings, and cut out 172 trees, and strung twine on each one. I participated in a holiday art show the next … Continue reading Another Forest

Wood Turning by Dave Landers