The Beauty Lies Within The Grain

woodturningCreativity is often seen as an anomaly with an ebb and flow. It does not discern whom it chooses; rather it matures and blossoms, cultivates and occasionally morphs into a new medium. Bob Sievers shines with this elusive morphing creativity, trading his canvas and easel for a more honed, delicate craft—the art of woodturning.

Catalyzed by the Egyptians and refined by the Romans, turning is one of the oldest forms of woodworking. From large serving bowls to the abstract twists and curvatures of flute stems with the details of an intricate feather, these beautifully crafted adornments are conceived on a machine called a lathe. It is a spinning and carving pin that is creativity personified in and of itself, with levers, pulleys and sliding mechanisms that Sievers has designed to fit his style of turning.

To admire the craft is to appreciate the vision, something that starts with a simple block of wood before stripping away the exterior to find the art within. “The true beauty lies within the grain,” says Sievers, admiring the maples, madronas and the wild grain of the burls. Each piece has its own unique pattern waiting to be part of the next crafted story.

Having tried his hand at woodturning for the first time during his high school years, Sievers rediscovered his love for the craft later in life. “If you can think it, you can create it, anything is possible,” he says.

Working with wood for almost 30 years, he continues to craft small masterpieces of the imagination, even with his failing eyesight. He’s taught woodturning at the local chapter of the American Association of Woodturning, of which he’s a founding member. You can meet him at a chapter meeting on the third Thursday of every month at the Fife Senior Center. Failing eyesight or not, he will continue to create and woodturn as long as there is wood available to be crafted.

ERIC GOODELL

For additional information:
Fife Senior Center
2111 54th Ave E, Fife
253.926.8767
spswoodturners.org