Lee Wilson

Bowl turner

Perhaps this should read “Tree lover and planter”. I have always bestrewn my yard with tree seedlings and taken pleasure in their growth. (I admit the Grandis Gum, which I planted as a 75 mm seedling next to the fence and which grew 20 metres in five years, made my pleasure a bit wobbly). In this as in other things, I swam against the tide as my father was of the pioneer mentality – chop it down!

But when trees actually are cut down, I love to make something beautiful out of them. Inspired by my grandfather, I early took up carving wood. Later, a lathe meant I could make more, faster, as well as those streams of great shavings! Turning was a good break from my job, which was teaching. Lots of pressure in the job and no instruction in turning meant I was only an occasional but enthusiastic amateur for many years.

The woodturning group at Greenslopes, which I joined in 2004, gave me skills and inspiration. Sadly I am still swimming against the tide as I love the bits of wood that everybody throws out, and I make non-standard things, such as wooden handbags and bowls with rims so fragile that they cannot be handled. But my woodturning keeps me out of mischief and provides me with enormous pleasure. It allows my beloved trees to live on in a new guise as well as affording me the opportunity to make beauty, which is definitely not to be sneezed at.

It is a crowning extra delight when someone loves my bowl and adds it to his or her life.

Thank you.