A Focus on Hidden Talent

Feature in February 1996 Woodturning Magazine

These images are reproduced by permission of Woodturning magazine, who retain all rights pertaining thereto.To contact Woodturning magazine or to subscribe, see the information provided in the Bibliography.



Oriental pagodas and Byzantine domes
have strongly influenced the ornamental
work of Texas turner James Harris.

James Harris finds ornamental turning to be the most satisfying form of woodworking, having been hooked in 1988 when he was given a Holtzapffel book on the subject.
At first he experimented with simple ornamentation, using a high speed grinder fitted with drills and router bits.
But in 1990, he invested in a Grizzly machinist's lathe and adapted it for ornamental turning with an indexing system and a universal cutter frame.
With a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas, James has a natural interest in architecture.
His work has been strongly influenced by oriental pagodas, by classical architecture and Byzantine domes. The ornamentation has been "carefully selected to support and enhance the architectural flavour of the piece".
James describes his current goal as "to make work which speaks to my heart... , to continue to refine my processes and to use the techniques of ornamental turning to be an integral part of the total design rather than some afterthought to display exotic techniques.
"If I succeed in any degree, I am blessed to be but a willing instrument of a greater source of creativity than my fragile ego can ever aspire to be."

The author

Albert LeCoff is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Wood Turning Center in Philadelphia. He selects the photographs for this feature from the Center's archives. Wherever you are in the world, if you feel you are a Hidden Talent, send colour slides with brief details of your life and work to:
Albert LeCoff, Hidden Talent,
42 West Coulter Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19144 USA.
Accepted photos will not be returned. Non-published work will be returned if a stamped, addressed envelope or international reply coupon is supplied.

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Last revised February 4, 1996.