Richard’s woodturning has been a serendipitous journey. His first project was to make a set of cabriole legs for a coffee table. Having more enthusiasm than sense, he agreed to take 3 black cherry logs that a friend was willing to give on the condition Richard made him a canoe paddle from some of the wood.
Six months later, the table was finished and 5 months after that his friend had his canoe paddle! Richard had now gained a lot of respect for those who cut logs into boards with a small crosscut saw! Turning the legs was the best part, so he decided to do more woodturning. Learning on his own over the next two years there was a lot of shavings and only a few turned items that escaped the fireplace.
In 1997 Richard was lucky to attend a woodworking show where the newly formed WGO was demonstrating. Wow! Here was a group of woodturners that would actually share information and skills. He joined them and learned more in the next six months than in the previous two years of slogging on his own.
Shortly thereafter, there was a new lathe and at this point he started turning anything people were willing to actually buy. Starting with bowls, wooden spoons, Christmas tree ornaments, custom boxes and lamp bases. Each year brought a new project or two. Richard now makes tools for lacemakers, embroiderers, sewing needles for knitters, braiding tables, exercise equipment for gyms and karate schools and replacement parts for furniture restorers.
Today, in addition to custom work, Richard has over thirty different items that he is making regularly, twenty two on the CNC lathe and the rest hand turned.
Somehow, he has also managed to make the odd competition piece in his 'spare' time, often winning a ribbon or two, and in my recollection a Best in Show for the most amazing tricycle. Bead Bowls he’s made for the Hospital for Sick Kids, as well as the wig stands for cancer project.
When asked why do you make so many different things? ….
He replied, I have not yet learned how to say no!