I grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana, and learned how to turn wood over 30 years ago. I got into it more seriously in the last seven years, now trying to turn a little every day. I mainly turn smaller projects such as pens, spin tops, and bowls that are made up of some of the more exotic woods of the world. I have also found that turning different manmade products can be quite fascinating.
Randle McDonnell is a resident of SCHH in Bluffton, SC. He is a founding member of the Sun City Hilton Head Woodworkers and Model Makers Guild.
His turnings encompass natural edge, segmented and open segmented bowls, vessels and whimsical items including turned pens. He is a member of the Sun City Wood Turners, the Lowcountry Turners and the American Association of Woodturners.
I work in the reliability department of a local plant. I have been woodworking for as long as I can remember. I had been interested in woodturning for a long while but had never made the leap into getting started. Finally I ran across the local woodturning group, Low Country Turners, and attended a couple of meetings and was hooked. I got a little lathe and started turning. My wonderful wife bought me a weeklong class and it has been full steam ahead since then. I have turned a little of everything but I primarily turn bowls. I prefer to start with a log and process my own wood. I usually do “green wood” turning and really enjoy the warping and interesting shapes that my bowls end up after they dry.
Fran is a furniture maker in Bluffton, SC. His turnings range from large burls to actual size acorns.
His work was recently on display at the Hewitt Art Center in Statesboro, GA. He is a member of the Artful Home Guild, The furniture Society, The Sun City Woodturners, Lowcountry Turners, The Sun City Woodworkers’ Guild and the American Association of Woodturners.
Roy started woodworking at an early age under the watchful eye of his father, Royden. He has been an avid turner for 20 years, ever since his father gave him his Sears Craftsmen lathe. After turning his piece, he was hooked. Roy has focused his woodworking almost exclusively on the wood lathe since that time.
Roy has attended Arrowmont Arts & Crafts School, and studied under Kip Christensen and Michael Mocho. He has also attended several classes presented by Rudy Osolnik, his main influence.
Steve Cook discovered woodturning after moving to Savannah fifteen years ago. His passion for this art lead him to become an integral member of the Lowcountry Turners. He has been the club’s president for the last five years.
Steve shares his woodturning talents with the community in hopes of inspiring current and future woodturners. He does this through hands-on demonstrations at local elementary schools, turning instruction at his shop (Coastal Wood Design), leading bowl turning classes at John Campbell Folk School and hosting demonstrations at Southern States Woodturning Symposium. In addition, he has assisted in the youth rooms at the American Association of Woodturners at the Tampa and Phoenix symposiums. Steve has a continuing relationship with Savannah College of Art and Design, helping students develop their turning skills for their industrial design and furniture projects. Steve enjoys the teaching process of working with beginners as well as experienced turners.
Steve’s work includes utilizing reclaimed wood to create stunning custom furniture and smaller utilitarian wood pieces. The fine craftsmanship of his work has been displayed at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah during the “Rooms with a View: Southern Style” event. Steve created a walnut writing desk featuring acrylic side, leather file drawers containing a brass front, as well as the display wall and sculpture stand featured in the room. His woodturning pieces were recently highlighted in the “Turned, Segmented and Embellished: The Fine Art of Woodturning in Southeast Georgia” exhibit at the Averitt Center in Statesboro, Georgia. One of the focus pieces included a pedestal table turned from crepe myrtle and finished with a zinc table top.
Peter Lamb has lived in South Carolina for 18 years where he works out of his “shop,” turning wood on a lathe into functional and decorative art objects. All of Peterʼs work is made from found wood…really itʼs considered fire wood. Many friends and fellow turners drop off burls and logs or send him with his chain saw in the back of the car to fallen trees in the region.
It was 1954 when he first saw a wood lathe in the corner of a woodworking shop. Paint cans sitting on a tarp disguised it and it hadnʼt been used. 20 years later, while shopping in a D.C. antique store, the owner lamented his inability to find someone able to turn replacement knobs and drawer pulls for 18th C. furniture. Although completely lacking in experience, Peter volunteered to use the ownerʼs small lathe. Self taught with the aid of two ancient books on woodturning, by trial and error he soon learned to turn the needed knobs and pulls and occasional finial.
In the early 1980s, he discovered that there was a world of turners, many creating sculptural art works. The American Association of Woodturners was formed in 1985 and he became an early member the next year. Peter has been lucky to study the craft with great woodturners: David Ellsworth, Bob Stocksdale, Al Stirt and Bonnie Klein. At symposia, he has attended demonstrations by many other artists.
Over time, Peter has honed his skills and techniques and has become addicted to the “Subtractive Process” as a creative method. Since heʼs semi-retired from the practice of law, he spends from six to eight hours a day turning, learning, teaching and loving every minute of his shop time. His work is in several museums and private collections. You can see and buy Peterʼs work at Jacob Prestonʼs Gallery on Church Street in Bluffton, SC.
I have been turning wood for approximately eight years. My first “hands on” exposure to the craft was when I joined the Sun City Woodworkers and Modelmakers Guild. I am for the most part self taught however much guidance was provided by associates at the Guild. I enjoy the creativity that can be expressed in trying to capture the beauty and colors of the wood grain and blend it with the character of the natural surfaces. I like to create bowls, vases and assorted vessels from logs. burls and seasoned woods. My turning interests have evolved to include goblets and most recently fine finials.
My earlier experience with wood was limited to what could best be called basic carpentry, fabrication of simple household utility needs. Some simple pieces of furniture were also built.
In my previous life, prior to retirement, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. My professional career was in machine design and process and product research & development.
I am currently a member of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW), Sun City Woodturners and Lowcountry Turners.
Dan Elliott is a retired dentist who came to the lowcountry of South Carolina over 20 years ago. Alongside his many other hobbies and interests, Dan became particularly interested in woodturning and began turning many exotic items such as intricate ornaments, bowls and other hollow forms that are enjoyed in private collections throughout the country. He crafts using only the finest quality materials—mostly from domestic, South American, Australian and African wood species—where his attention to detail and intricate finishes are most evident.
Dan is an active member of Lowcountry Turners, a club for local artists in Coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
My work background is in sheet metal (Wilkinson, Gates Learjet, Gulfstream) retiring as an Engineering Tech Specialist in 2015.
I began turning about three years ago. I still consider myself a beginner. I turn in my spare time and mainly make pens, bottle stoppers, candle holders and bud vases.
The thing I enjoy most about my turnings is that I do not have all of the “fancy” tools and I have to figure out how I can make things with what I have. I really enjoy problem solving so this aspect makes my woodturning much more fun. I may not do things the ways the pros do but I’m making some nice pieces!
I live on our small tree farm in Screven County with my wife Kathy. I enjoy fishing, deer hunting, gardening along with woodworking.
Dolly Gray Brennan
Dolly Gray Brennan is currently a metalsmith creating collections out of Savannah, Ga. She received her BFA from James Madison University in 2005 with a concentration in Metals and Jewelry and Ceramics. Though she always had her tools and supplies close at hand, she spent her first years out of college as a screen printer, a manager of an outdoor gear shop and a potter. While living in New York City from 2009-2013, she worked with many jewelers as a production assistant and designer. During those years she also worked for 92Y as a Jewelry and Ceramics Assistant Teacher which sparked a love of working with kids. For her own work, she uses a lost wax casting technique where an original item can be molded and then cast many times so that small batches can be produced. Hand fabricating, soldering, setting, enamel and epoxy resin work are also integrated into her designs. It is her intent to strike a balance between creating one-of-a-kind pieces, small batch series and custom orders.
I am a retired computer systems developer. I’ve been turning off and on for the last 10 years. I enjoy all facets of woodworking from turning to scroll saw work to building custom cabinets. Currently I am working part time as a handyman.
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