Ray Asselin's Profile

About

Timberturner is located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, an area that's richly endowed with hardwood forests that provide much of my raw materials.

The days zip by when I'm turning wood in a post-and-beam timber framed woodshop heated by a small potbelly stove. Every wall has windows that flood the work area with natural light and pleasing views that inspire me.

Woodturning- it's a fascinating way to reveal what nature has locked up inside a tree. Each wood species has unique grain patterns, figure, color, smell, density, and texture.

Most of the woods I turn are from local trees that have died or been taken down of necessity, or have been storm damaged. I generally don't cut down live trees for the sake of obtaining wood. The Australian burl woods I use are legally harvested…

Read more

  • Male
  • Born on December 26
  • Joined February 1, 2008

Favorite materials

Wood

Shop

About

Timberturner is located in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, an area that's richly endowed with hardwood forests that provide much of my raw materials.

The days zip by when I'm turning wood in a post-and-beam timber framed woodshop heated by a small potbelly stove. Every wall has windows that flood the work area with natural light and pleasing views that inspire me.

Woodturning- it's a fascinating way to reveal what nature has locked up inside a tree. Each wood species has unique grain patterns, figure, color, smell, density, and texture.

Most of the woods I turn are from local trees that have died or been taken down of necessity, or have been storm damaged. I generally don't cut down live trees for the sake of obtaining wood. The Australian burl woods I use are legally harvested and strictly controlled by Australian authorities. The burls are removed from the trees without cutting the trees down.

My first experience turning wood was on an old treadle lathe in a one-day class at Hancock Shaker Village in Hancock, Mass, some twenty years ago. I was hooked. In 1994, I purchased my first lathe, and have been enjoying turning ever since.

Among the things I make are "weed pots" (vases into which you put dried weeds, grasses, seed heads, etc), hollow vessels, platters, bowls, lamps, keepsake and jewelry boxes, candle holders, nutcrackers, and segmented items.

One of my favorite aspects of turning doesn't involve a lathe, however; it's "the hunt" .. the search for new wood species I haven't yet turned. Then, that first time something beautiful emerges from a new prized find... that's exciting.


Several years ago I moved my woodshop out of the dreary basement into a newly built timber-framed post and beam workshop, which has more window area than solid walls. The daylight flooding in makes all the difference. I love time spent ankle deep in wood chips, particularly on snowy winter days, when the wood stove is crackling.

Please visit my other site,

--- Bowlwood.com ---

for more bowls, keepsake / jewelry boxes, vases, vessels, and other turnings.

Also, please see my blog for more info, and to leave comments:

--- http://timberturner.blogspot.com ---

You can also see my work in these galleries and shops:

- Grow Gallery, Shelburne Falls, MA.
- Nash Gallery, Easthampton, MA.


-------------------


Like many other folks, I have, as Eric Sloane put it, a "reverence for wood". A poem hangs on the wall of the shop; it is from the book "Spanish Sunshine" by Elinor Elsner, circa 1925, and was a notice found on a tree in a park in Seville, Spain:


Prayer of a Tree
----------------

To The Wayfarer,

Ye who pass by and would raise your hand against me, harken ere you harm me.

I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
the friendly shade screening you from the summer sun.

My fruits are refreshing draughts,
quenching your thirst as you journey on.

I am the beam which holds your house,
the board of your table,
the bed on which you lie,
and the timbers of your boat.

I am the handle of your hoe,
the door of your homestead,
the wood of your cradle,
the shell of your coffin.

I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.

Ye who pass by,
listen to my prayer; harm me not.

---- ** ----

Unfollow username?

Are you sure you want to stop following this person?