Tag Archives: lathe

Fall into Fine Craft Artisan Spotlight – Len Baer

Well, folks, this is the final Artisan Spotlight for Fall into Fine Craft 2015 and it’s only fitting that it shines on this year’s show chairman, woodturner Len Baer.


What about your medium drew you to it initially and what’s kept you working at it?

I have always enjoyed working with wood as a hobbyist. Several years ago I saw someone at an arts festival making wooden boxes on a lathe. I started to research lathes and bought one shortly after that. I find working with wood very relaxing, and it is amazing how something so beautiful can be extracted from a large piece of wood. Learning about all the different types of wood – which ones cut the smoothest and which ones offer the most character – is another fascinating part of turning bowls.


If you had to choose a medium, other than your current one, what would you like to try and why?

If I had to choose a different medium to work in it would probably be photo art. My roommate for 2 years, when I was stationed in Ethiopia, was the base photographer. I learned some photo tricks from him that are fun to work with. We used black and white prints and some color slides of nature shots over there.

What are you most looking forward to at FIFC?

What I’m looking forward to at Fall Into Fine Craft, is having a really successful show. As this year’s show chair, I am especially proud of the increase in the number and variety of artisans and work we will be offering to the members of our community.


Find out more about Len at https://www.facebook.com/Baers-Woodturnings-362426857196390/.

Follow Fall into Fine Craft on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FallintoFineCraft2015?fref=ts and on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/paula154/fall-into-fine-craft-2015-yellow-breeches-guild-of/



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.

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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.

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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.baer 1c

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.baer 1a

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