Artist Barry Nowlin, who will exhibit at Dauphin Way Baptist Church Expo Friday, March 6, shares his lifelong fascination with wood
One artist who will appear at the Dauphin Way Baptist Church Spring Expo on Friday, March 6, is Dr. Barry Nowlin, whose wood-turned items are both functional and decorative. Below, in his own words, is Nowlin's account of his lifelong interest in his craft.
"I have always been fascinated with wood," Dr. Nowlin began. "During my childhood, I made crude boats out of scrap lumber from my father's woodpile. I remember charging 25 cents apiece. I sold a few to the other kids only to watch them flip upside down when they put them in a puddle of water.
"The fascination has never left me, and fortunately, my woodworking skills have improved a bit," he continued. "About ten years ago, Dr. Dan McCall generously gave me a lathe. I continue to use that lathe almost daily to make bowls, pens, tables, coffee grinders, and pepper mills.
"The pepper mills are the most fun to make. Each mill is truly unique. I don't use a pattern (but allow) the shape of the mill to evolve as I am turning the wood.
"The best part, though, is watching the wood come back to life. As the chisel cuts into the spinning wood, the configuration of the grain contours into distinctive patterns. Some wood, such as ambrosia maple, has brown and grey colors streaking through it because of rain water (that) penetrated the bark as the tree was growing. Another wood, flaming box elder, stains the wood with bright, red hues. Rainbow poplar, my favorite, is named for the multiple colors that pop out when it is turned."
Dr. Nowlin's daughter, Rachel, "shares my love of making sawdust, only she makes jewelry out of deer antlers and beads," he said. She tells her father her idea for a design and he turn the deer antler for her. Her necklaces and earrings are very popular with young people. Sometimes, Nowlin said, his craft becomes a family project with his daughter-in-law and wife pitching in.
Visitors to the DWBC Expo can see and/or shop at approximately 125 booths at the Friday event, which opens at 9 a.m. The church is at 3661 Dauphin Street at I-65. For more information, call Ginger McCracken, 341-0773 or Robin Murphy, 445-4163