Curly white ash and burl

Like most woodturners, I started out as a 'flat' wood worker making rectilinear furniture and cabinets. I originally purchased a small lathe to turn custom knobs or turnings to dress up my furniture. In reality, I turned little more than a bunch of file handles on that small lathe, and didn't really like turning all that much. In 2012 (or so) I had an opportunity to by an old Wadkin BLZ spindle lathe. The Wadkin needed a tonne of TLC to get it working again, needed a custom spindle adapter to work with modern chucks and faceplates, and was a little rough around the edges. Despite it's short comings, the Wadkin was a great lathe. It got me hooked me on turning and I spent countless afternoon cutting through the bottom of bowls and boxes, but actually making very little of value. Since then, I purchased a bench-top Vicmac VL300 and cobbled together a base, motor and VFD. Inspired by turners such as Richard Raffan, Chris Stott, Ray Key and Mike Stafford, I like to turn boxes most of the time. There is just something about the blend of form, precision, and the element of risk that I really like. No two boxes are ever the same, and none are truly safe until they are completely done and off the lathe. Although I turn boxes most often, I regularly turn all sorts of things from pens to platters. Recently, I have turned a bunch a Christmas ornaments and even a couple femispheres. When I'm not turning, my time is spent at my (real) job as a Quantitative Fisheries Ecologist for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources or coaching my daughters' soccer teams.

- Adam Cottrill

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