I learned the basics of woodturning by attending community classes at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts when I lived in Gatlinburg, TN. In 2013, over a decade later, I purchased a lathe and woodturning tools from a retiring woodturner. I turn Appalachian hardwood species: red maple, sugar maple, silver maple, cherry, ash, walnut, and several species of oak. I salvage logs from roadsides, yards, farms, project sites, and sometimes grab a piece of wood that's on its way to my wood stove.
I live in the coalfields of southwest VA about five miles from the small town of Pound. I moved here 16 years ago for a job and bought a long-abandoned farm property. I know and love this place now and this is where I plan to stay. In 2016, I left my job to pursue a living more in line with my worldview and personal philosopy. My woodturning business is named in honor and memory of Stillhouse Branch -- the creek behind my house and workshop -- most of which was buried under a coal mining hollow fill.