A first place winner at the 2000 Cal Expo for woodworking, John Alexander has been working in wood for over 50 years. John starts with green wood, ages it for a year to prevent cracking and looks for exciting grain patterns. Maple Burl and Olive are two of his favorite woods. John has been featured in the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Magazine, and he has won several wards for his work. John makes his home in Sacramento, Ca.
Norman Hinman, wood-turner from Yuba City, California, was born in Eureka, California in 1930. Several post-high school years were spent working as cowhand on ranches in northern California and southern Arizona. After finally submitting to studies at Cal Poly, SLO and graduate work at the University of Idaho he spent 14 months as a ranch manager, then worked in animal nutrition research at UC Davis from 1961 until retiring in 1991.
His first attempt at lathe turning was a matched pair of legs for a five-sided table for his daughter in 1979. His interest piqued, he pilfered some pieces of wood from his firewood pile and tried his hand at some candleholders. Feeling a touch of (very modest) success, he ordered a load of Black Walnut firewood, cut long and un-split, from a tree freshly fallen. From selected pieces of this some bowls were attempted. He was now irretrievably hooked. In 1989 a second, larger, lathe was added.
Norman concentrates on utilizing local woods from trees that have already been taken down for some other reason such as orchard turnover (old trees being replaced by young), highway widening, dead tree removal along streets, wind damaged trees, etc. The price of exotic, imported woods, dried and ready for use, is thus replaced by the costs of chainsaw use, band-saw blades and hauling heavy loads of green wood as well as the labor involved in mini logging operations. He has found the central Sacramento valley home to a fairly extensive variety of rather pretty woods.
All of Norman's turnings are done using hand held tools such as gouges, skew chisels and scrapers. Some of his pieces are finished with mineral oil and beeswax, and are suitable for daily table use; these bowls and plates can be washed with warm water.
Norman taught the Craft Center woodturning classes at the University of California, Davis for 14 years. He also taught the craft for a number of years in his own studio near Yuba City and is an active member of American Association of Woodturners and Norcal Woodturners.
Diana Kwan has been woodcarving since 1975 and has come to specialize in two styles. Relief and Chip (Or Incise) are quite different in design, as well as in their execution. She is influenced by cultures from all over the world.
In Relief carving she uses gouges, chisels and other tools to carve away extraneous wood and then shapes and contours the design to achieve perspective.
Chip carving involves the precise cutting into the wood to create a design. Light and shadow are utilized to enhance the overall effect. In her decorative pieces, she usually uses basswood and a one-knife technique. If harder wood is involved, additional tools are used.
She has worked with many types of wood, including butternut, mahogany, walnut, oak, cherry, poplar, and others. Kwan may leave the natural coloration of the wood or paint her work using acrylics. A finish is applied to protect the wood.
Over the years, Kwan has been in many competitions, winning numerous blue ribbons, as well as best-of-shows. Articles about her work have been featured in The Sacramento Bee and well-known woodcarving publications. She has shown her work in major exhibitions in Los Angeles, Sausalito, San Francisco and at the Sacramento Art Festivals and has contributed her artwork to the KVIE Art Auction, a PBS affiliate, since 1987. In 1991, she was nominated for the YWCA’s Woman of the Year award in art.
She has participated in many commissioned projects, including carving furniture, mantels, balusters, newels, finials, panels, bed boards and posts, bookshelves and frames. She is particularly proud to have participated in the renovation of the Senate Hearing Room at the California State Capitol where she carved the chairs and tables used by the senators. She was also called upon to carve panels for a desk made especially for the legislature.
Elliot Landes is a designer/woodworker. Landes designs and produces various writing instruments, desk accessories, and Judaica in his studio in Winters, California.
Landes grew up in Oakland, California and studied at Hebrew University in Jerusalem for two years, followed by studies in product design at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where he received his B.A. in 1975. He began woodturning in college, and conceived the idea of turning wood writing instruments in his last year of college.
Landes moved from Oakland to the small town of Winters, California in 1976.
Functional and unique wood products are created using traditional and modern woodworking techniques. The process includes tongue and groove, dovetail joinery, and/or aliphatic pressure bonding followed by sculpting, shaping, and sanding.
A wide spectrum of vibrant colors and wood grains are used, from the flaming red of African Padauk, to the rich black of Peruvian Walnut, to create unusual and durable objects that naturally compliment any decor.
web site: https://www.davidlevycreations.com/