Dave Turner and the Art of the Woodturning

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Artist Dave Turner has enjoyed woodworking his whole life, but he never became interested in wood turning until he picked up a lathe at age 55.

“People warn me that wood turning can be addictive, and that’s been true for me,” says the Evansville, Wisconsin, resident, whose work is on display at Fine Line Designs Gallery in north Ephraim through Oct. 3.

Turner spent several years developing and honing his unique style, first mastering the technique of the woodturning wheel and then learning the unusual way of decorating his works with dyes. As a young man he wanted to be a wildlife painter, but family and career took priority and he abandoned the idea. Thirty years later the woodturning wheel reopened his creative doors.

Turner cuts his own wood, sometimes using maple but mostly elderberry.

“It’s easy to get hold of,” he says, “and people always want to get rid of it.” And the wood is white, allowing his vibrant dyes to pop on the surface.

Turner spends half a day turning and hollowing out the wood, then spends about a week sanding and finishing the piece before moving on to painting.

When he first approached curators asking to exhibit his work, he was met with stunned looks.

“They didn’t seem too excited about another woodturner coming in,” he says, “but the painting really seems to stand out.”

Turner worked with wood to create canvases that recalled the ambitions of his youth.

For current hours of operation for Fine Line Designs (10376 Hwy 42, North Ephraim), visit finelinedesignsgallery.com.

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