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In the Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery



Richard Heys
Creative Woodturning

On Exhibit: June 14 through June 18
Reception: Thursday, June 14
                        5:00-7:00 p.m.



Richard Heys makes one-of-a-kind wooden bowls, vases, lidded vessels and sculptural objects on a lathe and/or by carving. Most of the wood he uses comes locally from storm-felled or unwanted trees. Unique among living forms, a tree’s tissue - wood - contains a detailed record of its life, written overtly in patterns of grain, color and density, wormholes and defects; and covertly in the stresses that are revealed only as the wood changes shape in seasoning. He imagines what the patterns of grain, color and defects are inside a log and then once inside, lets the wood’s character guide him in developing the final form. His goal is to use the lathe and the chisel to make objects that allow the wood to speak its history and at the same time to be beautiful, interesting or intriguing.

Richard has always enjoyed making things with wood. In 1990 he purchased a used lathe and a set of chisels at an auction, and was immediately captivated by the possibility of making interesting objects from materials as mundane as a piece of firewood. Over the years his woodturning hobby developed as he spent time scavenging logs, playing on the lathe, meeting up with experienced woodturners and attending workshops where professionals demonstrated techniques. Since he retired from his ‘real job’ in 2005 and moved to Connecticut, he has devoted more time to improving his woodturning skills.

Richard’s academic training is in organic chemistry. He earned a B.A. at DePauw University and a Ph.D. at Stanford and did postdoctoral research at Yale. He spent most of his career in pharmaceutical research. His website is richardheyswoodturning.com.








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