81: Paul Porter
Paul Porter was born and raised in the Southwest. He lives in Phoenix with his wife of 24 years, and learned/cultivated the craft of woodturning while raising three children.
He says, "I accidentally fell into the re-learning of turning wood while taking an evening community college class in woodworking where my goal was to make a bookshelf and a dining room table for our growing family. When the equipment I needed was occupied by other students I noticed many lathes were open; remembering the enjoyable experiences I had in high school many years prior I decided to bring some wood and give it a try.
"Needless to say I fell into the trance of wood turning....taking a piece of wood that may be destined for the fireplace and releasing the inner beauty that is hidden under its dry blistered bark."
List five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined).
My family, Southwest Native American pottery, other creative people, shapes I see in everyday life and jazz music
What project are you most proud of?
While my parents were still alive, they asked me to make urns to hold their ashes. It was a challenge to design each urn to represent my mother and father. Both urns are made from mesquite with desert ironwood accents. The short fat urn is my dad's with a carved ironwood bear attached to the lid. The bear has a fish in his mouth. My dad loved to fish. His urn is about 12 or 13 inches in diameter and eight or nine inches tall.The wood came from a tree taken out to widen a street in Phoenix. The tall urn is my mother's.The colored bead in the finial represents one of her favorite colors. It is eight or nine inches in diameter and about 12 inches tall. The wood for this urn came from a relative's ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona.
What's a common misconception about wood turning?
Pine and other soft woods are easy to turn. They are more difficult because of their softness.
What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
I really enjoy making stuff.
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But really, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? (And how sick are you of that question?)
Probably not much. Actually, I haven't heard that saying in years.
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