About GB Bowlworks
I have a passion for wood, what lies beneath the bark. I love its color, its smell, its texture, but most of all its potential.
I’m a woodworker, have been since as far back as I can remember. I come by it naturally...got it from my dad. Dad was a shade-tree mechanic, woodworker, electrician, plumber, etc., and I was his shadow. I took my dad’s interest in woodworking and refined it a little. I’ve zeroed in on bowl turning. To take a piece of gnarly, cracked, warped wood and bring out the inner beauty by recycling it into something useful is just the neatest thing ever.
In 1972 my dad bought a Shopsmith woodworking machine...you know, one of those do-it-all machines. It was a table saw, a lathe, a boring machine, a drill press, a disk sander, etc. I was 11 and really wanted to try the lathe out, so I mounted a 2x4 on it, spun it up, barely touched a gouge to the spinning wood...and promptly threw it off the lathe halfway across the garage! No one ever knew I did that, until now. I quickly realized I needed a little help figuring that machine out.
In 1976, as a high school freshman, I enrolled in what ended up being the best class in the world for me...shop class. Thanks to my shop teacher, J. D. Newland, who taught me the right way, I still have all my fingers! I made several pieces of furniture over the four years I was there, most of which are scattered around my mother’s home.
Over the years I started accumulating woodworking equipment and made a lot of things. My first real lathe was a Jet 12-36. I took a class at a local woodworking store and made my first bowl. I still have it; it sits on my dresser and I put each day’s pocket change in it. I then stumbled onto segmented turning and made a few little bowls...and a spark was lit. I told myself that one of these days I would focus more on getting better at segmented turning.
Fast-forward a few years. My wife and I became empty-nesters and suddenly had a little more time on our hands. I discovered I had time to get more invested in segmented turning and began focusing most of my time on it. The little Jet 12-36 had served its purpose but it was time to upgrade to a more capable machine, one that would allow for larger vessels. After upgrading to a more substantial lathe, I’m now able to turn bowls up to 18” in diameter, which seems to be (at least for now) just right.
I am a member of the Segmented Woodturners Association which is a great segmenting resource and profiles some amazing turners and their creations. I am also a member of Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, a non-profit organization that supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma.
I still consider myself a student of the art; there’s so much room for improvement in what I do, but even if I don’t get better, I’m having a great time doing what I’m doing. Thanks for reading my ramblings, and stay tuned for more GB Bowlworks masterpieces in the near future!