Since 1985, J. J. Jones has been doing wood lathe work, turning a marvelous variety of creations of all shapes and sizes, from utilitarian pieces like pepper grinders to magnificent large bowls, platters and “hollow turnings” – vases with small openings.
J.J.’s pieces are all beautifully crafted to bring out the unique beauty of each material. His favorite woods are Oregon myrtlewood and maple burl. He uses hawthorn, elm, mahogany, cherry, mimosa, walnut, and Osage orange to name a few – each wood different to work with and beautiful in its own way.
Some of J.J.’s most interesting pieces are made from burls. A burl is caused by some kind of stress to the tree – an injury, a virus or fungus, insect infestation or mold growth. From the outside of the tree, a burl looks like a bump, but for woodworkers, the stress results in a uniquely patterned wood highly prized for it’s beauty.
J.J. not only works with woods of many kinds, but he makes a wide variety of items. He says, “I have three lathes at this time. One is a mini lathe for small turnings. My major lathe will turn an item twenty four inches in diameter by thirty six inches in length. A friend and I built my largest lathe which can turn forty plus inches in diameter and five feet in length.”
J.J. states that he does not cut down a tree for the wood. “I receive wood from trees other people cut down for thinning or because of blow down.” JJ enjoys starting a new piece on his lathe and having the satisfaction of seeing the beauty that his work brings out in the wood.