Allied Arts will host an exhibition of local woodturners Harold Lawrence and Aubrey Nelson this weekend through November 2 at the Marlor House.
Woodturning, which involves shaping the wood using a lathe, uses various types of gouges and other tools to carve the wood into the desired shape.
Lawrence has had other exhibitions in the past, including one at Georgia Military College in March 2016, and most recently in Cartersville, Georgia with other notable woodturners.
“I like to save something intended for the fire. It makes me feel good to do that. Collecting wood is more my motivation than creating art, ”said Lawrence. “I use fallen trees or already in the form of lumber. I don’t go out to saw trees. I prefer to have something that is going to be eliminated.
Lawrence will have around 70 pieces on display, most of which will be available for purchase, while Nelson will have around 40. Viewers can expect to see Christmas bowls, vases and decorations in walnut, silver maple, mulberry. , willow, cedar, holly and oak. All the woods are species native to Georgia.
“I think the fascination with this job is that it’s a never-ending learning experience. There is always a dimension you can improve on, always advice you can get from someone else on how to do something better, ”Lawrence said. “It’s only limited by your imagination. “
Lawrence said he has been touring for about 10 years, and through this hobby he has met many other woodturners around the world. He said that even professionals are keen to share their knowledge and experience. It was this aspect of woodturning that led to a friendship between him and his fellow turner, Aubrey Nelson.
“We exchanged ideas and visited each other’s stores. He’s a great turner, ”said Lawrence.
Nelson was approached by Lawrence to participate in the Allied Arts Exhibition.
“This is entirely due to the association with my friend Harold Lawrence, whom I met this year,” said Nelson. “He already had an exhibit in the works and approached me to see if I would be interested in doing it with him.”
Nelson said he took part in other art exhibitions, including one at Georgia College’s art department in 1989.
“I’ve been doing this since about 1987. I worked for an architectural factory company and had people looking for pin replacements,” Nelson said. “A lot of them are unique, and the only way to get them these days is to custom make them. “
It was through spit turning that Nelson entered other aspects of woodturning, including bowls. However, he still does a lot of spit work and said when people need a custom part, they make contact.
All of the wood Nelson uses is also native to Georgia. He said the state is fortunate to have so many interesting wood species.
“All the wood is native to Georgia. The hurricane that passed here a few years ago was a real godsend, ”said Nelson. “As a result, I had an overwhelming supply of the substance.”
Nelson said that when creating bowls he prefers to use green wood. It leaves the walls thick, then after drying for a few years, it will put a piece back on the lathe to finish it.
“The wood itself tells me what sort of shape it wants to have,” he said.
Lawrence echoed this sentiment.
“The point of what we do is to let the element of the product or the blank part speak to us instead of trying to impose our will on it. The wood continues to move even after a finish has been applied. We try to minimize cracks and warping, but the wood is still flexible even after manufacturing a part, ”Lawrence said.
The “Woodturning” exhibit will be presented at the Allied Arts Marlor House, 201 N. Wayne St., Milledgeville. An artists reception will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on October 14 with a conference at 2 p.m. during which Lawrence and Nelson will share some of their processes and inspirations. Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, call Allied Arts at 478-452-3950.