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I 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.

After 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.

Of 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.

For 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 was infectious.

Also 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 the stalls.

After 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.

The 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.

Since 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.

With 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, Wood 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.

Since 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.

My 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I 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.


 

 

   
       
   
       
   
       
   
       
   
       
       
   
       
   
       
   
   
   
 

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