Juniper Landing Woodworks

Fairhope, Alabama | 7 Sales


Juniper Landing Woodworks

Fairhope, Alabama 7 Sales On Etsy since 2018

5 out of 5 stars (1)
Spike Cloninger

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Spike Cloninger


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5 out of 5 stars


Robert "Spike" Cloninger, Proprietor & Artist

I make wooden vessels -- bowls, urns, vases, goblets -- hand turned on a lathe or hand carved or both. My medium is wood that I harvest directly from trees or stumps.

The wood that I work with is of no value to more conventional woodworkers. The twisted and gnarled crotches, burls and roots that I use are left in the forest by harvesters of lumber and pulp. Even firewood gatherers disdain the pieces that I routinely seek. The odd-shaped, unwieldy chunks that won't split or won't stay or won't fit in the fireplace - these are the treasures to which I am attentive and which come under my hand.

Most of the vessels that I make are turned from "green" (unseasoned) wood, straight from a log, burl or gnarly stump. It is the nature of such wood to continue to "move" a bit after they are turned, which accounts for the out-of-round and/or textured aspect of many of these vessels. If, while turning, I uncover an insect or larvae path, I try to incorporate it into the surface of the vessel -- the signature of the artisan who made a living in the tree before I have.

My home and studio are in coastal Alabama. My wood yards are the log jams and the swamps of local rivers and bayous. Magnolia and Holly and the roots and burls of Eastern White Cedar, Swamp Gum and Oak are abundantly available. Hurricane debris is another of my sources, delivered on a regular basis on the Gulf Coast. When weary of working with local woods, I gather a pick-up load of choice pieces and journey to the Carolinas to barter with other wood turners for Maple and Cherry burl, or to Texas to swap for Mesquite.

Thus my environment is my stock in trade and my relationships to the rivers I live near is no less important in my art -- both physically and spiritually -- than the relationship of my hands and eyes to the spinning work piece. From river, forest, swamp and desert to the music-filled coolness of my small shop -- my days are spun in wood.

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Last updated on Jan 9, 2018
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Care instructions

Most of these vessels are finished with several coats of a non-toxic, tung-oil based formula of my own devising and topped off with a coat of quality wax, which protects the pieces from occasional handling. They are meant to be picked up and fondled and observed from all angles and aspects.

BUT, they are not protected from water. These vessels are fine for dried flowers and stems, but are not flower vases in the conventional sense. They are not meant to hold water. They are meant for indoor display and should not be placed in direct, all-day sunlight.

An occasional light coat of good quality paste wax, buffed with a soft rag, such as you would use on a fine piece of furniture, will protect and sustain the the vessel beyond your lifetime.