David Keller is one of the guys who I’ve been acquainted with in the virtual world for several years though have yet to meet in person. Hopefully that will change one of these days but until then I thought he would be an excellent candidate for our “Behind the Art” series!

David was born in Irving, TX in 1973 though moved to Jonesboro, AK when he was two and lived there until he went off to college. He now lives in Enid, OK with his wife, Robyn, and two children, Harrison who is 8 and Lauren who is 4.

As many of you already know, “Doc” Keller is a practicing orthopedic surgeon. Balancing a busy career with family doesn’t leave much time for turning but he does get to the lathe whenever he can. Like many of us, David started out with flat work though his woodworking now almost exclusively involves the lathe.

“I started turning about 6 or 7 years ago after a brief stint in flat work.  My shop wasn’t climate controlled and it was too cold to go out and work on furniture projects.  I convinced the wife to let me put a mini lathe in a sunroom on the back of the house.  A few thousand pens led to shop remodel (I was evicted from the sunroom) and a larger lathe. I gutted our detached two-car garage a few years ago, and other than a smattering of children’s toys, it has become my exclusive domain.  Spray foam insulation and central HVAC have made me quite spoiled and soft.  I’ve pretty well rid the shop of my flat work tools in favor of blank storage and assorted turning related clutter.”


I’ve always appreciated David’s dry, often self-deprecating wit and willingness to call it how he sees it in his online postings. My discussions with him for this article were no different. I tried to get a sense of where he sees his art at present and where he’s going with it in the future. “I think I’ve become a more technically sound turner.  I still struggle to make the tool do what I want it to but it seems to happen a little less frequently.  I think my sense of form and proportion has improved as well.  I lack the interest to focus singularly on a particular style or embellishment, so I’m likely doomed to a turning career of varied mediocrity.”


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Saturday the 20th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.