I have been turning for over 20 years and have at one time turned everything from pens to bowls, from urns to purely sculptural items. My education is in Theater and performing arts, and firefighting feeds the kids, but it is woodturning that keeps me grounded. I have worked with other types of woodworking: furniture, "flat" work, etc., but turning keeps calling me back.
I usually start out with an idea of what I want to turn, but often the finished piece will be quite different than what I had in mind. Sometimes, I will see something in the wood while turning it that dictates a change in style. In any case, each piece is signed and numbered, and is unique. No 2 pieces are exactly alike.
My wood comes from many different sources. Sometimes it comes from wood trades with fellow turners from around the country. Sometimes it comes from trusted commercial sources. However, my favorite source is reclaimed wood with a story. I love turning a piece that I can trace back to falling in a particular storm, for example, or taking a tree from someones yard and giving them back an object turned from their tree. It can take something that would wind up firewood or landfill, and transform it into an heirloom. That is the real reward.