Dennis Powers - Featured Artist July & Aug. 2022
Thinking back to High School when I took my first Woodshop class, I am not sure that I realized then what an obsession woodturning would become. I remember turning a fruit bowl and two candle sticks for my mom. She kept them all these years and now that she is no longer with us, I inherited them. The quality was far from even “good”. But apparently the seed was planted.
Many years later and I have some how found my way back to “spinning wood” and I can’t believe I waited so long. It took several years of exploration, a ton of mistakes that turned into firewood and a lot of learning through trial and error. And now I am at that point where I am beginning to move from the craft-- to the art of woodturning.
I have always been a bit of a planner. This has served me well in my “new” obsession. The process starts with a downed tree where the wood is still wet (green). After rough turning and a lengthy period of air drying, the piece can be put back on the lathe and turned to final form. This can take 6 to18 months. As one might expect, Woodturning is part manual labor, part luck, part risk taking, part patience, and partly learning to be flexible as one moves towards the finish line for each piece.
A common question often posed to an artist is: Where do you get your inspiration?”. When I began, my answer was I was trying to simply create traditional forms while developing my skills. Over time I began to focus on turning forms are less functional and more decorative and pleasing to the eye. I continue to straddle that functional and decorative line today but am starting to work towards finding a signature style. My hope is that I will continue to grow as a woodturner and maybe even as an artist.