“It took 10 years of following something and I didn’t know that it would get here to exhibiting my art. My dad was a sculptor and I grew up with wood. I put it aside because of professional demands on my life. I did sculpture and woodworking as an escape to relieve the stress. 12 years ago I was looking at a bed with posts in Architectural Digest. Like most men, I thought I could build it, so I got a lathe and turned the posts. I did a credible job, but it wasn’t anything I was passionate about. I started doing facework and playing with the wood. I am self-trained on purpose so what I do will be original, but I am not sure if that is a character flaw or strength.
I discovered I like deconstructing a turning. Simple vases and bowls, deconstructed. The creativity comes from leaving the traditional. There are six features of a typical turning, but one day it dawned on me that I had been denying those features. It frees you up so you aren’t confined by traditional form. Turning is the spectrum of platter, bowl, hollow form. I got away from the boundary of the base that it sits on. Remove the base and you have a whole new freedom of creativity. I see forms as male and female. Most bowls are female forms, looking like a womb but change the boundaries and I can create male forms, too.
This has freed part of me that was there all along, it was just waiting for me and I finally got around to it. I come from a long line of engineers, we are very disciplined, structured and schedule oriented. I am a rheumatologist and work in a 10×10 room. I like escaping that but it had to be at the right point in my life to let it out.
I am an introvert and introspective and this helps me talk to other people and to connect to different parts of other people or myself. It expands me in a different way and maybe I wouldn’t have gotten here without the wood.
I work three days a week at the practice now and four days a week doing woodworking. Even when I was working full time, I was producing three pieces a week. There was a drive to do something different. To get into that zone and forget everything else. It is an art you have to focus on and total concentration. At the same time, you are perceiving smells and the way things feel. I can tell from the temperature of the chips coming off the lathe if I am going too fast. There is a craft that has to be learned and I had to become technically good before I could become creative.
I had no desire to show beyond my family, but it got to be over 300 pieces. My neighbor got my website together and my first show was at the Ogden Gallery in New Orleans. A member of the Eastern Shore Art Center found my work on the internet and asked me to show. This morning I stopped to look at the pieces together in this gallery. This is the best representation of longitudinal work. I was able to choose thematically what I wanted to show. I am proud of this in a different sort of way.”