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David retired and moved to Guemes Island 20 years ago and began turning bowls around 1999.
Many of the varieties of wood he turns are from the island, i.e., Maple, Pacific Yew, Pear, Apple and Madrone. Other woods include monkey pod, avocado, rhododendron, cedar, mahogany, koa, holly, and walnut. Padauk, Grandadillo, and Shedua are from Africa and Central America.
The Pacific Yew was in his very own yard. At about 100 years-old and after trying to save it, it had died. At 30-plus feet high, its trunk was 16” diameter and has been providing material for beautiful and uniquely colored bowls.
During the past year or so, David has been turning segmented bowls and vases. These are created by gluing together small precisely cut pieces of different contrasting woods and then turning them on the lathe.
David has also added charcuterie boards in the shape of Guemes Island.
Taking a piece of a stump, downed tree, displaced or dying tree and transforms it into a bowl, vase, plate is very satisfying for David. Often the piece changes while turning from the initial minds image to the final piece. This is often the result of cracks, knots, or voids that are uncovered as the turning progresses.
© David McKibben