at a very young age but began working
seriously about 35 years ago with the
purchase of a Sears Radial arm saw and
a Belsaw 12” planer. Two planers,
4 lathes, 2 band saws, a table saw,
a jointer, numerous other pieces of
woodworking equipment, plus a new
building housing a 1,500 square foot
shop in North Carolina, made dream
of doing woodworking a reality.
The most significant change came when
I enrolled a few years ago in a general
wood turning class taught by Alan Leland and later an introductory bowl turning course taught by Bill Wallace. This was followed by an extensive wood turning course led by Jim Duxbury. However, there is no training like actual turning or other woodworking experience so I have concentrated on this in the last few years and have tried to perfect my skill with each new item.
With many of the items I make I prefer to use a variety of different wood species in accent colors to create beautiful, practical items for the home and business. I particularly like to use woods that provide a contrast to each other. The woods selected for my pieces include exotic (foreign) hardwoods like padauk, mahogany, morado, tiger wood, purple heart, etc. Of the domestic hardwoods my favorites are black walnut, sweet hackberry, black and wild cherry, ambrosia maple and sycamore. Several woods used contain spalting (partial wood decay through fungus interaction) or fine figuring characteristics. Examples of pieces utilizing these ideas are displayed in the gallery.
I currently make cutting boards, clip boards, lamps, flower vases, wine bottle stoppers, bottle openers, bowls and many other items. I also make furniture such as the cedar Adirondack chairs and table shown in the gallery. Furniture items are usually custom made to order. Other custom items can also be made such as larger cutting boards and checker/chess boards.
I initially started to sell my woodworks through local farmers markets and continue to do this but have more recently shown at local arts and crafts fairs. Some of these are noted in the Upcoming Events section but have included the Three Rivers Arts Festival (Sanford, NC), the Christmas Holiday Shoppe at St Thomas More in Chapel Hill and fairs at local communities such as the Preserve at Jordan Lake. I am a member of the Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association in Greensboro, NC where many well-seasoned woodturners of
great talent can share ideas and techniques. This has been very helpful in adding to my skills as a woodturner.
– Jeff Clark