James “Jim” Horner started turning wood out of necessity. Jim, a local business owner and artist, works with antique clocks. He began turning wood on his own time with the Catoctin Area Turners.
I met Jim at the 8th Annual Eastern Panhandle Earth Day Celebration in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Since Jim was one of many vendors at the 8th Annual Eastern Panhandle Earth Day Celebration, I was was able to talk with Jim and his wife Abbey.
Tell me about your work.
Jim: I do woodturning. Most of it is local wood. I don’t do a whole lot of exotic things. They [Jim’s pieces] are functional, you can use them.
How did you get started?
Jim: I needed to get some clock finials turned, and I couldn’t find anyone to do it. I had a metal turner, and I turned one on there and got a lathe. I found myself wanting to turn other stuff; like wood. It’s either going to rot or go in the fire. Well, wood finds you. When I got my first lathe, I was just trying to find wood anywhere and before long my driveway was full of wood.
Abby: He spends several hours a week on them; getting things just right.
Where do you find the wood you work with?
Abby: Some of this is from trees on our property. We live in the woods, and we have a lot of wood. Some of it is from the wood turners club he belongs to, and some of it is [from] knocking on someone’s door and saying “Hey, I saw you cutting down that tree. Can I have some of it?”
Jim: The club, Catoctin Area Turners, is in Leesburg, Virginia. They do a great job promoting it. As far as clubs I have been a member of, this is the first where nobody hesitated to help you out. If you ask them how they did something, they will tell you.
Photos of Jim’s Woodwork:
(Photo Credit: Nicholas Trietsch)