Richard Gordon's Profile

About

Welcome! I create lathe-turned, regular and natural-edged bowls, vases, candlesticks, pencil cups, and wine stoppers from saved almond and other woods. Enjoy.
I've always been fascinated by wood turned objects but, like most people, I had no idea how they were made. So, when my wife's friend put a turning tool into my hands, and stood me in front of his lathe, I felt both curiosity and some trepidation. But by the end of the day, holding a lovely six-inch tall, 1/4 inch thick, hollow form vase in my hands, I had become absolutely and forever hooked.
Months later, I took a week-long wood turning class for beginners at Craft Supplies in Provo, Utah, and learned that creating a hollow form vase was definitely not a beginner's project. My ignorance has become my bliss and is my continuing passion. I returned home and remodeled a building to create a professional, fully equipped, woodturning workshop. What I needed…

Read more

  • Male
  • Born on February 1
  • Joined October 18, 2011

Favorite materials

Almond wood

Shop

About

Welcome! I create lathe-turned, regular and natural-edged bowls, vases, candlesticks, pencil cups, and wine stoppers from saved almond and other woods. Enjoy.
I've always been fascinated by wood turned objects but, like most people, I had no idea how they were made. So, when my wife's friend put a turning tool into my hands, and stood me in front of his lathe, I felt both curiosity and some trepidation. But by the end of the day, holding a lovely six-inch tall, 1/4 inch thick, hollow form vase in my hands, I had become absolutely and forever hooked.
Months later, I took a week-long wood turning class for beginners at Craft Supplies in Provo, Utah, and learned that creating a hollow form vase was definitely not a beginner's project. My ignorance has become my bliss and is my continuing passion. I returned home and remodeled a building to create a professional, fully equipped, woodturning workshop. What I needed next was wood to turn.
I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains south of Yosemite National Park. Through Craig's list I found an almond grower in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Almond growers need to remove trees whose productivity has declined after 20 years. My rancher cuts down about 20 acres of trees a year to be split into firewood. He was willing to sell me all the fresh cut, (green) wood I wanted.
I didn't know if almond would be a good turning wood, but the thought of it all going up in smoke if I did not take some of it made me decide to take the chance. The stunningly beautiful first bowl I created convinced me I had made an incredible discovery. Now, every year I am able to rescue a little more of this beautiful, always surprising, wood to create my projects for you.
Because green wood tends to split unless it is cut to a uniform thickness, my bowls and vases are all 1/4 inch thick or less. And as they continue to dry, they move and evolve into surprisingly unique and eye pleasing shapes. To my knowledge, I am currently the only professional turner working with almond wood.
I hope you'll enjoy owning my creations as much as I love making them.


Unfollow username?

Are you sure you want to stop following this person?