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Jeff Dunham - Wood Turner

I'm intrigued with finding ways to show textures in the materials I work with. Traditionally, woodwork is given a polished and shiny finish. In some cases this makes sense to me. But I find that certain materials such as Fir Tree bark will have an uneven density and after turning, these differences in density will cause the finished piece to form a rippled surface that cause it to catch light and make the piece seem to move before your eyes. I like to use that effect to make pieces that create a sort of illusion.

I use materials that are unexpected in  woodturning, such as Grape Vine, tree bark and driftwood. The latter is challenging because the saltwater pulls all the natural moisture out of the wood in a way that leaves the wood very brittle. It took me many years to figure out how to work with the driftwood without just breaking the brittle fibers, to get a clean smooth finish.

I like to use wood with a lot of character in the grain rather than straight grain. A lot of my work is what is now commonly termed"live edge". There are a lot of things that can happen to a tree during it's life, such as burls, twists, and knots that can create interesting character in a finished piece. And many things after a tree has stopped growing can occur as well. Spalting, which apears as fine black lines, is caused by a fungus. Different types of beetles will tunnel through wood.

I'm interested in collaborative work with other artists, working in any media. Also I would enjoy the opportunity to work with novice woodturners, passing on my knowledge and experience.

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