This is Jerry from J & L Woodturning. After reading his interview, I can just imagine his journey from the beginning and relate to it in my own life and my journey into handcrafting. His work is spectacular!
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Name of Business: J & L Woodturning
Link to my shop: http://jlwoodturning.etsy.com
About you: I am a carpenter, by trade. I have worked in the field of construction since graduating from high school. There is not much that I haven’t done or attempted to do in this line of work. I have lived in the beautiful hills of West Virginia all my life. I am married and have two children that are in college.
My craft or talent: I turn wooden bowls and cowboy hats on a lathe.
How I do my craft: The art of woodturning is using a lathe to mount a piece of wood and with the use of gouges, removing anything that you don’t want there. I work in the corner of my garage, but I have hopes of somday building a shop to work in. I like to work with green wood – wood that has recently been cut and not dried out. Most of the wood I use is local wood from trees that have fallen from a storm or someone has cut down. I look for unusual pieces – diseased wood, spalted (almost rotting) wood, burls (abnormal growths on trees) or crotches where two limbs meet. These have the most character and will produce the prettiest bowls. I sand the bowls while they are on the lathe and finish the drying process in the microwave. The cowboy hats are also turned from green wood and using rubber bands are bent into their shape.
What led me to my craft: I started woodturning when my brother, also a wood turner, gave me his old lathe and said, “See what you can do.” With his help in showing me how to sharpen my tools and the basics, it wasn’t long until I was hooked. I spent every spare moment at the lathe, just trying to see what I could do. After turning for three months, I juried for and was accepted at Tamarack, WV – an arts and craft showcase of the best of West Virginia. With the help of my wife, I started selling on my etsy site last year and I love it.
My other interests or hobbies: Other things I like are hunting and fishing, riding a 4-wheeler and watching sports on tv.
My other links, blogs: