Award-winning wood lathe featured in March gallery

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Professional Artists of St. Augustine (PASt.A.) Fine Art Gallery, located on historic and often-photographed Charlotte Street, is pleased to present Tina Minahan as its featured artist for March.

During the First Friday Art Walk on March 3, Minahan’s lathe work and hand-carved wood-turning pieces were displayed in the front room of the gallery. Minahan was on hand in the evenings to meet with gallery visitors and clients.

Minahan’s family moved from her native Pennsylvania to South Florida when she was very young. Although she lived in the Palm Beach and Miami areas all of her adult life, she moved to California to pursue a career in the insurance industry. After her retirement, she first moved to Tennessee and then she moved to the St. Augustine area.

Minahan’s interest in woodworking started early, when he took a course in the early ’70s. Her first project was a freestanding spice cabinet. Even though she was bitten by the woodworking bug, she continued to practice her craft and take classes whenever possible. Her first foray into woodworking focused on furniture making, and she soon became adept at making chairs in her classic Windsor style. During the manufacture of the Windsor Chair, Minahan introduced a lathe to make the legs of the chair.

She quickly realized that using a lathe she could complete projects in much less time than it would take to make furniture. Minahan was inspired by the results of her early lathe work, and she began designing and lathing wooden bowls, platters, and other containers.

“Making bowls and platters out of wood emphasizes the wood’s natural beauty, including its growth rings, heartwood, and even bark,” says Minahan. “Although tree knots are nothing more than an infection of the tree, they produce the most satisfying and beautiful results with naturally formed swirls and interesting patterns.”

Her process begins with collecting wood, stumps, and chunks of wood she receives from friends, loggers, and fellow woodworking clubs. Special types of wood are purchased from wood salvage companies. The wood Minahan uses is either fallen trees or trees cut down for construction or landscaping purposes.

Some of the most beautifully grained and colorful woods, such as her favorite, red-veined box elder, command high prices from salvage companies. With her design in mind, she attaches it to her lathe, dons a safety mask and ear protection, and begins the steady process of turning “wet” wood on the lathe. Once you have the rough shape, let it dry slowly and then put it back on the lathe for the final turning. Once her piece is complete, she seals it using her food-safe natural oils to enhance the beauty of the wood.

Minahan is a member of the American Wood Turner Association in Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida Wood Turner Association. She has won numerous awards for her own work over the years and continues to promote herself and her own art through her woodworking symposia.

To see Minahan’s work, visit and the gallery’s Facebook page

Professional Artists of St. Augustine Fine Art Gallery was established in 1982. Its mission is to showcase local and regional art and educate and encourage regional artists.

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