I started turning while in college, in the late 1960’s on a two speed, 11 inch maximum diameter lathe, primarily designed for spindle turning. I was ahead of the curve! Back then there were very few wood turners, and those there were, turned primarily spindles for chairs, banisters, and a few, on larger lathes, did architectural turning for home builders. I decided to turn bowls, rarely functional, but primarily decorative pieces meant more for display than for holding candies, salads, or chips. Equipment and turning has come of age since then, and I have continued my interpretation of the art, only with bigger, and somewhat more difficult pieces. I particularly love the spectacular woods of the Australian Burls. Whole Aussie burls, of nearly unrestricted size, are available to the turner, due, I feel, to the new popularity of turning and the desire to use environmentally renewable products. Harvesting burls is strictly regulated in Australia, and is a life saving process for the affected trees, allowing product to be beneficially used and the trees to survive into future decades. Additionally, I have enjoyed working in another unique wood, Norfolk Island Pine, all obtained as hurricane salvage wood from Florida. NIP turning is especially demanding as it is essentially all “end grain” turning.
It has been my pleasure to spend some of my time and energy over the past 4 decades turning chunks of wood into artwork, and I sincerely hope you enjoy seeing the results.
Carl J. Bodenstein