Measimmer turns wood into art – The Stanly News & Press

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Meashimmer turns wood into art

Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 11:34 a.m.

Sometimes life is full of irony.

Jerry Measimer of Litchfield took a shop class in eighth grade and learned how to turn wood into artwork, in this case lamps and baseball bats. However, he showed no interest in the job and found it boring.

“I said this is stupid,” he said. “I hated it because I couldn’t understand it.”

Back in 2007, Measimer picked up a Lumberjack book with a hollow, decorative Christmas ball on the cover. Each ball had a small hole 16th 1 inch thick.

Measimer was incredulous at the complexity of the decoration, which piqued his interest.

“Nobody can do that,” he said. “It was just a beautiful, clean piece of wood.”

He eventually met a guy who made ornaments, took classes from him, and fell in love with woodworking.

“It snowballed,” he said. “That’s what hooked me.”

The former Marine has a full-time job at Culp Lumber Company, but every day in his back-of-home workshop he turns large blocks of wood into intricate, often colorful bowls, urns, frames, and hummingbird houses. I spend a lot of time processing things. And a cowboy hat. The workshop is full of piles of wood chips.

Two of his hummingbird homes were recently featured in Our State magazine.

Hummingbird houses are stacked up in Jerry Measimer’s workshop.

Since he started woodworking over 10 years ago, he has made thousands of pieces.

Over the summer, Measimer attended the American Woodturners Association Raleigh Woodturning Symposium, where he taught a class and networked with many of his woodturning peers.

He had three judges approve one of his wooden cowboy hats. According to Meadzimer, about 700 works were submitted at the symposium, but only about 10 were accepted by the judges.

When he learned that one of his works had been recognized, he said he was “just shocked.”

He has taught numerous workshops and given many demonstrations, including classes at Pfeiffer University. His work has been exhibited at the Stanley Art Guild, the Cabarrus Arts Council, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte. He donates many of his own works to local organizations and charities.

Measimer is also a lifetime member of the Concord Woodturning Club.

But for many, measimers are synonymous with cowboy hats. He has made them for many people, including former Miss America and musician Charlie Daniels.

And he has different types of hats, some made of poplar and others made of oak. One that looks like a top hat or derby hat, and one that looks like a traditional John Wayne-style western hat.

It takes him about a week to make each hat. The wood must be bent and dried. Once completed, Measimer applies lacquer and hand rubs each hat with sandpaper. The hat is also very light, usually he weighs 7 to 9 ounces.

He believes he has made more than 500 hats.

Wooden cowboy hats are a specialty of Measimar.

However, wood turning is not easy.

In addition to being delicate, Measimer said even the slightest mistake can ruin a piece, even if it’s breathing heavily. Woodworking can be dangerous.

Measimer broke numerous fingers, nose, cheeks and toes while working on woodwork.

Woodturning is an art that Measimer has enjoyed over time.

In his early days, when he was still learning his craft, he threw his hat in frustration after failing. He sat down and asked himself. “Am I doing this for fun or what am I doing this for?”

At this moment his mind changed.

“That’s when I told myself I don’t care what I made,” he said. “I just loved the process of woodworking.”

For measimers, woodturning is calming and relaxing. He likes turning wood on a lathe while listening to the blues or watching TV.

“I love watching the shavings fly away,” he said. “Even if you do it all day long, nothing may come of it.”

Now, if a piece breaks, all you have to do is pick up a new piece of wood and start the process again.

“There’s always more wood,” he said.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for Capital News Service in Annapolis, and many of his articles on immigration and culture were published in national newspapers through the Associated Press.

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