Taking the living form of wood and turning into beautiful, functional art has always appealed to me. Each piece of wood is unique, having its own character and detail that emerges and is then showcased in the finished piece. I choose not to purchase wood (what some call “wood blanks”). Instead, I prefer the “start” to “finish” process of working with downed trees, or reclaimed "historic" woods. The hardware and embellishments used are collected from my travels abroad including Italy, France, Germany and Austria. Much like the historic nature of the wood I use, the hardware used is often collected from antique and architectural salvage shops, some being many centuries old.

my process


Each part of the country (and the world) have their own unique and beautiful species of trees. Living in Florida, I'm lucky to have access to a wide and differing range. Adverse to clear cutting, I try to select from those that have come down in storms, are removed because of age or health, or are removed due to urban development. Diameter, species type, and position are among the factors that guide me in cutting larger trunks into something I can use, each cut piece weighing between 100 to 500 pounds. They are then transported to my workshop where I can cut them into smaller, workable pieces. These cut pieces are then placed on wood racks for drying, a process that can take anywhere from 9 months to two years.


The drying process is an exercise in patience. But, it is also a critical one that helps ensure the material does not crack or warp. I keep a close eye on each piece, routinely rotating the wood to make sure it is drying at the right speed for woodturning. After the wood has reached a moisture point of less than 5%, I cut the pieces in a round-ish shape, finding a point as close to the center as possible. The larger pieces require a crane to mount on the lathe. Once on the lathe, the wood is 'roughed' out and a basic shape is made trying to keep the wall thickness even as possible. This process removes about 80% of the total volume. Then it is back to the racks for more drying. This can take another few months based on the type of wood. The goal is to get the wood as dry as possible. Of course, it is inevitable that there may be an beautifully artistic amount fissures; I use these in my work and feel it adds to the unique characteristic of each piece. It's interesting to me that, regardless of the drying process, wood is a living, evolving material, changing shape with extreme temperature variances, and carrying a certain amount of artistic fissures, the degree of which depends on the wood type. I take the possibilities of this into consideration when designing and I believe it adds to the beauty and evolving uniqueness of each piece created.


Once the rough turned bowl has reached 2% or less moisture it is time for the fun part. The piece is remounted on the lathe - painstakingly balanced - and made round. The accuracy of this is critical so that it can spin at extremely high speeds without vibration. Once secured, it is checked for structural integrity to ensure the spinning will not cause the piece to fly apart (numerous holes in my workshop wall attest to the importance of this step). When this 'prep work' is done, it is safe to move on the final shaping and design process.

Typically, I take what the wood gives me. I usually do not rely on a plan or layout that I follow. Instead, I like to keep turning and cutting until I feel it looks 'right', it's the overall feel of the piece that I am looking for... in a sense, the wood speaks to me; I just reveal the design and beauty it has hidden inside.


I like to hand sand each piece to 1000 grit. This seals the pores of the wood, and prevents the a application of finishing material from covering spotty or uneven. The wood type and shape will dictate which finishing material and process I use.

One I create from my own mixture that includes shellac (Fun fact: shellac is actually created from the shell of a bug called a Lac. They are harvested from limbs of trees and processed into a finish). Another is a wax finish called 'French Polish Technique' that is put on by a buffing wheel at high speeds. Both are safe and durable. In some cases I use a spray varnish. I do this to pieces that have lots of 'punky' or rotted areas (though difficult to work with, this punky/rotted condition often results in a stunningly beautiful appearance) to help hold it all together and create a glossy finish.

I do not use stains or anything that alters the color of the wood; I choice this option because I believe one just cannot improve on the natural beauty nature has bestowed in each piece... so why not let it shine!