was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa where I spent
many hours in my dad's home workshop developing a fondness
for all things scientific. One thing led to another and
I ended up studying Industrial Engineering at Iowa State
University, receiving both BS and an MS degrees.
graduating, I followed a job offer with NCR Corporation
to San Diego, California, where I still reside. Along
the way, I married my high school sweetheart, Therese.
I still have the same job and the same wife, although
both have improved over the years.
all the skills I learned from my dad, however, I developed
a fondness for woodworking. I always excelled at woodworking
projects and even created an inlayed coffee table for
my girlfriend (now my wife) as a birthday present when
I was a freshman in college. I continued to make furniture,
cabinets, stools, etc. whenever a piece was needed. Mostly,
I worked with hand tools, a table saw and a router.
several years, I led a team of parishioners in a large
construction project. The team was comprised of lawyers,
realtors, teachers, a couple of engineers, an architect
and a dentist. During that time, I would often visit the
architect, Jim Leary, in the evening or on weekends to
discuss the project's progress. Many of those visits were
in his garage workshop. As it happens, Jim is a turner
and I would spend hours at a time talking about the church
project as he turned. Needless to say, the experience
during this time, we moved from a small house to a larger
house. My only criterion for the new house was that it
would have a 3-car garage so that I could have one of
several years of this indoctrination, I finally convinced
my wife that I needed to buy a lathe and associated tools.
I read all of Raffan's books, Ernie Conover's book, and
two or three of the Fine Woodworking compilations on turning.
After about a year, I found an old, used Atlas 12"
lathe with some Craftsman tools. Jim helped me select
other tools, a chuck, grinder, and safety equipment to
start. I built a custom lathe stand, a tool rack and I
was on my way.
first thing I turned was a fir 4" x 4" post
just to make it round. Of course, with only reading and
personal observation as guides, I had my first catch and
the 4 x 4 flew across the shop. I also had my second catch
that day - I was hooked on woodturning.
that time I continue to turn a variety of items. I enjoy
bowls, boxes, hollow vessels, spheres, ornaments and vases.
I also turn more decorative pieces like natural edge bowls,
square bowls, and nested sets. I am experimenting with
off-center turning, coloring, burning and carving.
a little creative negotiating with the budget committee,
I have moved up to a Stubby 750 and a shop full of tools.
Those that read rec.crafts.woodturning,
Central or World
of Woodturners know that I use a lot of different
tools due to my varied interests in turning. I have also
studied with John Jordan, Richard Raffan, Stuart Batty
and Jimmy Clewes, as well as sought assistance from the
terrific local turners here in San Diego.
I have moved so heavily into woodturning, I have mostly
left other forms of woodworking behind. As a testament
to this, I now primarily use my tablesaw as a workbench.
inspiration comes from the people and events around me,
and from other turners and artisans. I love watercolors,
etchings and pottery. I enjoy architectural forms and
repetitive patterns. I observe the world around me and
ask myself if there is a statement in that happening to
be made in wood.
am also beginning to collaborate with a couple who create
pottery. I'm not sure where this will go, but I am looking
forward to the challenge of it.
am now an active member of the San
Diego Woodturners, the San
Diego Fine Woodworking Association, and the American
Association of Woodturners. Through these groups,
I gained more exposure to turners and woodworkers in San
Diego and elsewhere. I have written for "More
Woodturning" as well as being the editor and
writer for the San Diego Woodturner's monthly newsletter.
have exhibited annually at the Design in Wood Competition
at the Del Mar Fair for the last three years; and Gallery
21 in Balboa Park, San Diego; and the NCR Art Show in
San Diego for the last five years.