In Search of the Perfect Curve

“Woodturning is about curves and curves fascinate me. A beautiful curve can give a sense of movement to a static object, creating a sudden feeling of tension in the observer and releasing it just as quickly. I strive to incorporate these qualities into my work.”

David finds the immediacy of woodturning alluring after years of building objects that required design before construction.  He continues his search for the perfect curve, drawing inspiration from nature, other design disciplines and the female form.

As he works, his body is in motion in a sort of slow dance, moving the tool over and through the wood, following an invisible line which becomes visible as the tool progresses.  The line is evaluated and if it’s not quite right, another cut is taken following a different invisible line until the line is right or there’s no wood left.  As a piece develops, this interplay between tool, wood and maker becomes mesmerizing.

There is a delicate balance between the visual and tactile aspects of a beautiful piece.  Success occurs when an object’s shape captures the attention of a casual observer who, upon picking it up, realizes that how it feels interests them as much as how it looks.

The creative process in woodturning is similar to sculpting; one begins with a rough blank and ‘simply’ removes what doesn’t belong.   However, the way in which material is removed differs tremendously from sculpting.  A sharp gouge applied to a piece of wood spinning at 1200 rpm on a lathe results in a stream of chips flying through the air while a form is revealed.  This is simultaneously thrilling and awe inspiring.

David turns each object freehand.  While turning, he frequently touches the work with his hands to evaluate things like wall thickness and surface smoothness.  This, coupled with ongoing visual assessment of overall shape, relationship of curves, figure in the wood and other aspects, helps to achieve the goal of visual and physical balance in a piece.

A second generation carpenter and woodworker, David has had a lifetime of experience working with wood.  This background, along with an education in design and his strict attention to detail, makes him uniquely suited to create finely crafted turnings, furniture, cabinets, and other wood products for the home or office.

Most pieces are created from local native hardwoods such as maple, ash, cherry, walnut and others, especially those that offer unusual figure or grain.  Occasionally, imported woods which offer colors, grain, or density that differ from domestic species are used.