December 2014 Highland Woodturning News Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodturning classes and seminars Woodturning articles and solutions Subscribe to Highland Woodturner


Here is my Woodturning!

by John Perrella
Grahamsville, NY

Note: click any picture to see a larger version.

At Katrok Woodworks I lathe turn hardwood bowls made entirely from Eastern hardwood trees that grow right here in the Catskill Mountains of New York state. Multiple species of wood are combined to produce unique color, pattern, texture and shape combinations. No two pieces are alike.

Eastern United States hardwood forests produce some of the finest material on the entire planet. It is a renewable resource of great value. With proper care and management these forests can continue to provide clean water, wildlife habitat, sustainable wood yield, recreation opportunities and in doing so the beauty of these great Appalachian forests will be preserved for future generations.

A local organization, Pure Catskills, has made a short video of me describing the resource, and the region. It has garnered very positive feedback of my work and the region, which you can view by CLICKING HERE

The process I utilize for turning produces an endless variety of product. From tree to bowl, the process starts with the harvesting of a tree and getting it to the sawmill. Once there it is sawn into boards with the goal of producing quality boards and at the same time looking for interesting features in the log that may produce unusual grain patterns. The boards are then stacked inside a drying shed with spacers and separation between the individual pieces. Once dry I transfer selected wood to my shop where it is cut, joined and planed in preparation for inclusion in a new bowl.

Selecting the various elements that will be made into a bowl blank is an important part of the process. Past experience, intuition and the willingness to experiment are essential in assembling the components that produce a blank with real potential. I never start with a fixed idea of what the bowl will be. As I turn the piece I look for features that will suggest the best shape. It is a creative process that can produce surprising results. Stunning work that is both beautiful and functional. They also look damn good as objects of artistic merit, displayed anywhere in the home.

I have turned over one thousand eight hundred pieces. They are owned by people from one end of the country to the other and as far away as New Zealand and Iceland. You can see several of them below:

You can email John at JGPERRELLA@GMAIL.COM . You can see more of John's work on his website at

Submit your own woodturnings or woodturning shop to this column! Simply SEND US PHOTOS of your woodturning projects or shop along with captions and a brief history and description of your woodturning. (Email photos at 800x600 resolution.) Receive a $50 store credit if we show your turning in a future issue!

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