Member Len Baer has always enjoyed working with wood. He recalls working next to his dad on home projects, as a young boy. He started woodturning in earnest about seven years ago after being fascinated by a lathe demonstration at an art show.
Len says that, unlike many wood turners, who design on paper before beginning to turn a bowl, he prefers to mount the wood to his lathe and allow his creative side to emerge.
Little by little the bowl starts to take shape. I do evaluate the wood before starting and choose which way I will mount it and the general direction I’m going with the design, but I let the wood speak to me as I work on it. If I discover a unique feature in the grain, or a knot in the wood that I think should be part of the finished bowl, I work towards a design that will incorporate those parts.
I believe that a bowl made of wood should look and feel like it is made of wood.
Len uses wood primarily from central Pennsylvania, usually from wind or storm damaged trees. Respecting his medium, Len prefers to leave his work a little on the heavy side. He uses a low gloss finish that seals the wood, while preserving its natural attributes.
Len’s added a new twist this year, based on some new techniques he learned at the Jimmy Clewes Woodturning School in Las Vegas: selective use of bright colored dyes to accent the wood grain of some of his gorgeous turnings.
Len will be at Fall Into Fine Craft with over fifty other fine artisans, so mark your calendar today! You can see more of Len’s work on our Gallery page at www.ybcrafts.org and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Baers-Woodturnings/362426857196390?directed_target_id=0