TopJosh's Shop Announcement

Wood turning is my passion, and my objective is to provide quality items that combine innovation and classic design at affordable prices. I have been creating original work in the wood shop for over 25 years.

I'm not sure which I enjoy more: making toy spin tops or playing with them. Every top I have ever made has been rigorously tested by my quality control department, which consists of my right thumb and index finger. I made my first top in 1984, and since then, have produced over 100,000 little spinners for young and old alike. My classic style tops usually combine two kinds of wood -- a hard wood body with a contrasting hard wood handle. My "rustic" style tops are turned from small branches and usually feature some of the wood's natural bark.

My shawl pins measure approximately 4 inches in length, and the hair sticks measure approximately 6 inches long. Just like everything I make, each item is individually free hand turned on a wood lathe without the use of any patterns or duplicating equipment. I use strong, sturdy woods that are never altered with dyes or lamination. The natural beauty of the woods speak for themselves. My favorite woods to use for pins are Cocobolo, Bocote, Brazilian Tulipwood, Kiaat, and African Blackwood.

Boy, that's a mouthful to say, but I don't know how else to sum her up. I created the original design in 1986, and have refined her over the years. She is hand turned, hand painted with acrylic paints, and has hand beaded arms which rise up in the air when you spin her. I love to paint with dots, and draw inspiration from the Mexican folk artists of the Oaxaca region.

Last year I began combining found objects with my wood turning to create very new and unusual tops. From my thread spool top to my sewing machine bobbin top to tops that combine brass gears or jewelry parts, I've turned into kind of a mad scientist of top creation. Clock gear are probably my favorite object to work with today, but that's subject to change because I am coming up with new top ideas every day. In fact, I look at the world totally differently since I started my experimentation. I am constantly looking for round, durable objects to turn into tops!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me. Don't hesitate to tell me about your passion for tops, or whatever it is that gets you going everyday. Sharing is learning. I don't have any employees or assistants, so you are always guaranteed 100% hand made work by me and personal customer service.