Parson, John

As a wood artist, I feel an obligation to discover and showcase the natural beauty of wood. I prefer to turn what is termed “green wood” from recently felled trees. Most of my work is produced from wood that I acquire free in my local area. I have also purchased some specialty woods that are not available in the Louisville metro area.

When I began turning a good friend became my turning mentor. He once told me that “life is too short to turn bad wood”. I was so new to turning that I would try just about any wood at least once. When I mount a piece of log on my lathe, I try not to have a pre-conceived idea about the shape that the object should take. When I begin rough turning a piece, I prefer to let the wood take me to the ideal shape. When I did try to force a shape not suited to the piece of wood, more often than not it ended up as designer firewood the next winter.

Since I rarely know the complete history of a tree, I have accepted that there may be flaws and weaknesses in the wood. As long as this does not create a structural issue, I will leave that imperfection in my turnings and believe that it adds character to the piece. Because I do prefer to turn “green wood” the entire turning and finishing process can take as long as 6 months to a year. This time allows the wood to dry, which greatly reduces the possibility of cracking and warping. All of the finishes that I use are 100 percent food safe.

In addition to being a juried member of the Louisville Articans Guild, I am also a member of the American Association of Woodturners and serve on the board of the Louisville Area Woodturners.


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