Curt started woodturning in 2002 and the earliest woodturning for which he has a picture is of this self-described cat dish he turned which bears a 2003 date.

Over the years Curt says he was influenced by a number of people.  Rex Burningham had the booth at the Salt Lake Arts Festival and although he has never met him he credits Rex for inspiring him to try woodturning.  He also credits Chris Wright who operated the website Woodturner’s Resource as his first on line mentor.  He also learned from and admired the hollow forms of Keith Burns, the natural edge bowls of Mark Cothren, and the finishing prowess of Steve Schlumpf.  But Curt says the one single piece that inspired him most was this incredible natural edge hollow form in manzanita burl turned by Travis Stinson entitled Tazmanian Devil.

 

Curt’s natural edge efforts are admirable in their own right.

From left to right: Gambel oak root ball, box elder burl, and box elder burl

 

So tell us about your shop, Curt. Shop? Ha! I don't have a shop. It would be nice to have one though. I turn in a small corner of my garage. That's about all there is to it,” came his reply. I replaced the Ridgid lathe several years ago with a 1954 Oliver 159a. That's my go to lathe, old, heavy, iron with very solid features but nothing fancy. I also have a small Delta Midi that I do most of my small spindle work on. I have a 12" Craftsman band saw that I've abused to the point of near destruction and it still keeps on going. I have a cheap Craftsman table saw that scares me to death and I only use if I can't find a better alternative. Oh and I have a pretty nice Dewalt miter saw. And I have an older Grizzly dust collector on the other end of the garage that sounds like a jet engine when it fires up. But it has helped immensely with keeping the dust off my wife's car. As for turning tools, I'm probably a minimalist compared to most turners. I keep a few different style gouges, skews, and scrapers and only replace them when they wear out. I am pretty proud of my hollowing system though. A friend, Ernie Nyvall, made it for me a few years ago as a surprise.  Here are, from left to right, Curt’s hollowing rig, his beloved Oliver 159a with and his Delta Midi.  That’s Curt “Darth” Fuller in the far right picture about to wage war on a piece of wood.

 

When asked to explain his philosophy regarding his work and what inspires him Curt responded, I'm not much on philosophy when it comes to woodturning. It's all pretty spontaneous for me. I gather wood where I can find it; construction sites, the dump, neighbors cutting down trees. I cut it into chunks, seal it, and at some point just grab a chunk and see what I can make from it. I'm amazed by some folks who carefully draw out their work with all kinds of thought and planning. But I've never done that with anything else in my life so my woodturning is no exception. As for motivation, inspiration, and achievement, I love the look, feel, smell, about everything about wood. And if nothing else, woodturning provides a sense of accomplishment and a huge therapeutic release from anything that might be going on in life.”

 

A turning friend, Don McIvor, once shared this quote with me which puts into words how I feel about wood better than I ever could”:

‘One of the remarkable things about wood is its self-expression. Whether as a handle of a tool, as a dead stump, or alive in a forest where every branch is a record of the winds that blew, it is always telling something about itself. That is why man has an affinity with wood not only as a mere material, but also as a kindred spirit to live with and to know.’

                                                                                  --Eric Sloane, A Reverence for Wood

 

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Thursday the 21st. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.