Mark Choitz I was fortunate to have a friend that was willing to loan me a lathe, tools, wood and all of his knowledge to mentor me in the wonderful craft of woodturning. His patience and generosity gave me a great base to learn from and experiment with woodturning. I have been woodturning since 2011. Each piece I create is one of a kind hand turned by me from a Bigleaf maple tree (Acer macrophyllum) that was destined for an industrial wood chipper. My friend and mentor has a sawmill where we can usually be found on a sunny day milling up a bigleaf maple log harvested in the Oregon Coast Range. Maple can be plain as day or the most beautiful wood you've gazed upon. Even raw, unsanded, unfinished wood has qualities that make it hard to believe it lay just beneath the surface of the bark. Chatoyancy, birdseye, quilting, burl and flame are some of the qualities found in maple. These qualities are revealed at the sawmill with the first cut of the saw. Wood is processed from there, cut into rounds, turned green and allowed to dry and then finish turned. This whole process takes over a year. Most of my pieces have some roughness in them and I strive to enhance the beauty of the natural wood and character of the tree. This roughness appears as a natural edge, bark inclusion or chainsaw marks - I feel this naturalness adds to the beauty. Wood invites one to hold it, explore it and get to know it.
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