Wednesday, December 2, 2009

John Auger participating artist

“We moved south as a young family in 1990 and never looked back. I sort of think of myself as a native South Carolinian who was born in Rhode Island. It is easy to fall in love with the people, the weather, the mountains, and the small size with a big outlook.

Art is a relatively new endeavor for me. Trained as an engineer, wired as an entrepreneur, I spent most of my 30-year career in business. I came to love woodworking, and especially turning, because it is so creative and challenging.

Turning is a lot like some forms of sculpting or carving, in that it is a subtractive process. Once the wood is gone, it’s gone forever! Even more challenging is the fact that both the piece and the tool are moving at the same time. Some cuts require the turner to control five or six arm, wrist, and body motions all at once. So, the artist has to be carefully creative, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to appear as part of the turning process without getting too carried away, ending up with only a nice pile of sawdust! It is a bit like mining for gems. A very unappealing chunk of wood often turns into a breathtaking piece of art.

The real secret to fine woodworking, though, lies in finishing. While it is often tedious and dusty, the real payoff comes when I am finally done with sanding and I am at the buffing wheel watching the beauty just burst out of the piece.

In addition to wood as a medium, I am also working with stone and metallic inlay to add incredible new dimensions of color, texture, and expression. Despite being a very challenging and time-consuming process to achieve a harmony of flow, color, and finish with these very different materials, the extra effort is well worth it.”

~ John Auger

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