The mystery lathe

"By some mystery"... in 1964, as a high school student living in upstate New York, I enrolled in a wood shop class. That is where my instruction on wood lathe turning began. I instantly fell in love with this craft; and after graduating, I enrolled at Oswego State University to become an industrial arts teacher.

After graduating from Oswego, I was offered a teaching position at my former high school. I was now teaching students the art of wood turning on the same lathe I had worked on years before.

I taught for a few years in New York, then moved my family to Pennsylvania with a desire to change my career. I enjoyed raising my family and exploring a variety of career choices that proved not only fulfilling but lucrative as well.

Then, " By some mystery"...in 2003, I returned to upstate New York for another career change, and ended up working again at my former school district I had left over 30 years ago! While working there, it was brought to my attention that the school was selling the old wood lathe I worked with so many years ago. I immediately bought it with the intention of getting the old lathe up and running in my impending retirement years.

I retired in 2013, and decided to move south to a warmer climate. Florida was my original destination but...

"By some mystery"... my wood lathe and I ended up in Lincolnton, Georgia. My property is surrounded by lush woods full of cedar trees. Embracing the beautiful foliage and noticing the surplus of dead cedar wood all around me, I decided to get the 50 year-old wood lathe running and turn some wood.

Again, " By some mystery"...my love for this craft took hold; I had little control. I mounted the rough blocks of cedar on the lathe to turn the bowls and plates into magical shapes. Of course nature dictates what these pieces will look like as I turn the rough wood into their finished forms: some are thick, some are thin, some full of bug holes, some with cracks and decayed sections; some I turn with moss growing on them. Yet, all are original and beautiful in their own unique way.

But in the end, "By some mystery"... The old lathe and the old cedar, with a little help from me, .....old too.... come together and produce some of the most beautiful wood creations.

" Mystery lathe"? See for yourself what it, myself and nature create for you to enjoy.

Thank you for allowing me to share my passion with you.

Pa (Bill) Frank

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