Close

Newman & Judith Whitmire's Profile

About

So why did a retired couple (Whit and Judy Whitmire) start a woodworking business? It is really a very short story …

After raising a family and then retiring from careers in education, public health and construction, we moved to Incline Village, NV at Lake Tahoe in 2002 fulfilling a long time dream of living in the mountains. We set up a workshop and are realizing our passion for wood. Judy actually had other plans like volunteering & goofing off but Whit put her in front of a lathe and … it was love at “first turn”. The need for attention to detail in wood crafting carried over from our prior careers. We always have shared a love for both two dimensional and three dimensional art.

We spend our vacations looking for unusual hardwood logs to buy. The wood must be freshly cut to avoid widespread cracking. We make every attempt…

Read more

  • Joined December 28, 2010

Favorite materials

Unique Wood, Stone and Metal Inlay material

About

So why did a retired couple (Whit and Judy Whitmire) start a woodworking business? It is really a very short story …

After raising a family and then retiring from careers in education, public health and construction, we moved to Incline Village, NV at Lake Tahoe in 2002 fulfilling a long time dream of living in the mountains. We set up a workshop and are realizing our passion for wood. Judy actually had other plans like volunteering & goofing off but Whit put her in front of a lathe and … it was love at “first turn”. The need for attention to detail in wood crafting carried over from our prior careers. We always have shared a love for both two dimensional and three dimensional art.

We spend our vacations looking for unusual hardwood logs to buy. The wood must be freshly cut to avoid widespread cracking. We make every attempt to be ‘eco-friendly”. Most of our wood comes from folks who had to cut down trees and did not want to save the wood. Included are commercial walnut growers who must cull out the older non-productive trees. We also buy “interesting” leftover wood from commercial woodcutters. Occasionally we buy specialty imported wood from hardwood lumber mills. Our neighbors are rewarded with our leftover wood scraps to burn in their fireplaces during our cold winters. Our saw dust is used for mulch.

Our favorite medium is burl wood. It is not easy to turn and there is considerable waste. We never really know what the finished form will look like. However, burl wood provides great opportunities for inlay material with its many voids. The finished pieces are always unique.

Whit mills the logs himself. The bowls and platters are “turned” on a wood lathe. Using tools called gouges the shapes of the bowls are formed. Artistry determines the outer shape but skill accomplishes the inner form. Whit also makes other objects of art with wood using a variety of saws and hand tools. When we start with green wood, the items have to be dried in our kiln for weeks or months. Then they have to be finish-turned to return them to a rounded shape.

After cutting and shaping the pieces, we may add decorative inlays of rock or metal. After careful sanding, we apply 5 or more coats of finishing oil, sanding in between the coats. The application of the citrus based finish takes about a week. Finally, we buff the pieces with paste wax and then use a dry buffing pad to bring out the luster. Every material we use is non-toxic. The entire process can take up to 6 months depending on the drying time.

The artists’ bowls are for sale at Artists at Lake Tahoe in Incline Village, NV and at the Hess Collection Winery in Napa.

We sell our work at various arts & crafts shows in the greater Lake Tahoe Area and at fairs in Napa and Grass Valley, CA. In the Spring, please see our web site: "whitmirewoodcraft.com" for a listing of our shows.

Our work has been purchased by a San Francisco art dealer and the California Walnut Commission. The Commission has presented bowls to Oprah Winfrey & Andrew Weil, MD. For businesses, we craft wooden artistic marketing items designed to represent the nature of the particular business.

CARE: Our creations are finished with non-toxic oils and wax. They can be hand washed with mild detergent, rinsed and hand dried. After considerable use, walnut oil or paste wax will restore their luster. Please do not heat food in the bowls, place very hot food in the bowls or use them for refrigerator storage. To preserve the finish and color of the wood, do not place the bowls in direct sunlight for any length of time.

Unfollow username?

Are you sure you want to stop following this person?