Fourteen years ago Bill attended woodturning classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina, and he became captivated by woodturning. He returned to NJ and Barbara, his business partner, spreading his enthusiasm to her as well. They bought a lathe and started turning. Since then they have attended classes at the Arrowmont School in Gatlinburg, TN, and a number of seminars in several states given by well-known woodturners from this country as well as Great Britain. They also purchased a second smaller lathe, so they could have one in each of their two workshops.
While they have worked at the turning aspect of their craft, the structural design, they have also become engrossed with the embellishing and finishing aspects of it as well. Techniques learned at these classes combined with classes in color and design which were part of Barbaraâ€™s B.A. in Fine Arts were inspiration for this direction for their turned bowls. After they turn the bowl, it is dried, and a design is planned for the bowl. Using liquid food color the design is added to the bowl. Bill will then use butane torches to burn parts of the design onto the bowl. Often symbols from various cultures; e.g, Adinkra from Africa, Mandarin from China, Maori from New Zealand, Native American, etc. are inspiration for the bowl designs. (Some bowls because of their special grain and characteristics, are colored only â€“ so the only design is the features of the wood itself enhanced.) Then they finish the bowls with many coats of food safe lacquer. As they use maple for almost all of their bowls, occasionally when they acquire other species of wood, they use them to create other items, e.g., salt grinders, bottle stoppers.