What it’s about:
My goal is to have a wood-turning studio and an internet blog/forum about wood and wood-turning.During the Summer months, I wish to have a market-stand to sell hand-made products and provide documentation on wood and sustainable forestry.
Wood fascinates me:
Already as a child I was fascinated by trees and forests and spent countless hours playing with friends in the forest. Later, as an architect, I found timber construction and carpentry especially interesting: the transformation of a natural (living) material into a building material and it’s use for houses, furniture and design-objects.
At least from the 1970’s onwards, there has been a difficult discussion going on about the destruction of our forests. Despite this, the rain-forest is still being burnt to make place for agriculture and primeval forests plundered to sell precious woods. Despite global communication, it has become increasingly difficult to learn about the current situation of our forests.
Design and craftsmanship:
While growing up, I was very fond of Danish Design. It was a time when chairs and tables, bowls and much else was produced in genuine teak wood. The Dansk company had an entire product-line for the modern kitchen. It was a high-point in Design and mass-production but also in traditional craftsmanship.
Danish Design from the 1950’s to 70’s is an important inspiration for me. Simple and practical wooden items for the kitchen (bowls, cutting-boards, pepper mills, etc.) will be an important sector for my wood-turning production.
For my start I need your support:
Having decided to concentrate on lathes produced in Europe, I was fortunate todiscover the Erzgebirge Wood-Turning Center and the lathes produced by theSteinert company. The Steinert «alpha-optimo 250» is of massive cast-iron, very stable and of high quality workmanship.
The machine, with electrical speed control and an optional stand for frontal bowl turning, costs Fr. 7’000.-. Accessories and turning tools (gouges, parting tools, chisels) cost Fr. 1’500.-. Courses and training cost Fr. 1’000.-. Wood-blanks and wood-stock to start cost Fr.500.-. Together this makes 10’000.- Swiss francs. Dollar contributions paid by credit-card will be automatically credited with Swiss francs here. There’s no need to buy or exchange currencies.
I grew up in New York State, USA and came to Zurich, Switzerland in 1975 to study architecture at the Swiss Federal Polytechnic (ETH). In addition to my architectural office-practice, 1978 until 2011, I have been active in carpentry and furniture design.
I retired in 2011 and live today from the Swiss social security. It is important for me to remain active in carpentry and wood-turning. Wood-turning complements and extends the carpentry I’ve been doing here over the last 40 years.
I wish to thank all of you who have taken an interest in helping me. I plan to give a party to celebrate the end of my fund raising and look forward to the chance to meet my sponsors personally.