Gary Hoover Exhibit
Gary Hoover — Wood Turning
Local artist Gary Hoover’s works was on display in the Exhibit Gallery in August and September 2011. Gary provided the following description of his wood turning experience.
Wood turning starts out with a solid piece of wood that has been cut with a chain saw from a downed tree. The wood is taken to my shop and cut to usable pieces. The cut ends are painted with a sealer to keep the wood from cracking while it is drying. The wood can be turned green (freshly cut) or allowed to dry for several months.
The wood is attached to a wood lathe and the turning process begins. The outside of the vase or bowl is roughed out. Then the inside is hollowed out, leaving the sides and bottom about an inch thick. The piece is then set aside to dry from three to six months. This drying time is needed so the piece does not crack.
When the piece is dry, it is put back on the lathe. The outside is smoothed out with tools and then sanded. The inside is now finished with a boring bar. Care must be used not to make the wall too thin causing the piece to break. After this stage is completed, the piece is submerged in mineral oil. The oil protects the wood from cracking. Some pieces such as vases are finished with tung oil. No stain or varnish is used on my pieces.
Many pieces are made from burl because of its unique grain. A burl is a growth on the outside of a tree. It is a healing process in which the tree covers the injured area making the grain within the burl go in many directions giving a beautiful effect.
I have turned for fifteen years and have attended many seminars given by world-renowned turners. Along with giving turning lessons, I have been an officer in the Detroit Wood Turners Association. I retired a year ago to pursue other interests.