Posts Tagged ‘Crafts’

Our neighbor, Steve Knowles is a wood turner who makes beautiful wooden bowls and other wood products that are all hand crafted in his workshop at his home in the Abacos at Bahama Palm Shores.  He has taken on woodturning as a hobby.  Every year his work becomes more popular and he now shows his pieces at art fairs around the country.

He currently works at Abaco Hardware where he services home appliances.  He is also the Assistant Fire Chief for the High Banks Volunteer Fire Services.  He and his wife Anita live in a natural and woodsy part of the Abacos called Bahama Palm Shores, an area surrounded by beautiful trees and bushes, with many different kinds birds settled in the greenery.

Bahama Palm Shores is well-known for its parrots and for its natural beauty, and is also well known for being a vibrant, active little ocean-side community.  It is a great place for Steve to find wood for his many craft projects.  Neighbors call him to tell him that a tree or branch has fallen in a storm and he comes over and retrieves some of the wood.

Poison wood tree
Picking up wood from a neighbor.
Wood piled up ready to take to his wood shop.
Cutting wood into blocks.
Palm tree downed by neighbor.
Steve stacks the wood that he has collected and prepares it for woodturning through a process of cutting and seasoning.
He works with a variety of different kinds of wood, highlighting their grains in his designs.
Bowls emerge along with candleholders, bread boards, hot plates, billy clubs and spinning toys.
Candleholder, prepared years ago.
Ready to go to an art show.
Fish hot plate and bowls.
While he works, he thinks and dreams up new ideas for future projects, sketching them out as he goes along.
Interested people stop by his wood shop to see what he is working on or to ask him to make them something out of wood. When tourists and  birdwatchers visit the neighborhood, many stop in to see his work, some purchasing items to take home with them.
Neighbors drop by to purchase gifts for weddings, birthdays and other occasions and often bring their guests to see Steve’s work.  Steve has also taught some people how to wood turn. 
Early shaping of a bowl.
Initial wood cuttings
Sawdust on the floor.
Turning the wood.
Bowl, ready to go.

Selected finished pieces of Steve’s work were recently displayed at The Bahamas National Trust, Art for the Parks held at Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbor.

Steve will soon be retiring, and when he does, he is going to be very busy just keeping up with all the demand for his beautiful bowls and other wooden items.

Steve Knowles’ wood turning  is a good example of how one might ease out of the work force while adding a very interesting project to ones life.
Here is a short video showing his recent work.

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Finders Keepers

People throw things into the ocean.  The ocean drops all kinds of things onto our beach. We pick up shoes, boards, jugs, rope, toilet seats, bottles, glass balls, crates.  What we don’t use, we carry to the dump. Then, we find things at the dump.  I will do a separate piece on things we find at the dump.
Above is a board that floated in.  It was so heavy that I dragged it most of the way home rather than picking it up.  The last photo in today’s blog shows how it looks after we cut it up and made something with it.
Anyone missing a shoe?
We keep crates that we found on the beach for collecting all the detritus.
We use what we find, if we can. Buckets are used for mopping our floors and are made into wastebaskets.  The plastic bin is going to become part of our garden, sunk into the ground to hold herbs.  What we cannot use goes to the dump.
More stuff
Joseph shows off his find.
Here is a particularly pretty find, a large ceramic ball used in the fishing nets, made in Japan.
That big plank I showed you in the beginning is now the top of a children’s table. The legs of the children’s table are also made from boards that we picked up on the beach.  This is a 100 percent “found it on the beach” table. 
We have an old saying down here, “If you really need something, then take a walk and you will find it on the beach.”

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Tables from beach wood – Abacos

Beach Wood Tables
Made from boards found on the beach.

These tables were made of wood that drifted onto our beach. The top is simply plywood. Because of this, the table legs have great character. The tables were built by community teamwork.  I found the wood on our beach, where it drifted in, carried it up to the house and let it dry out.  The table was constructed out of the driftwood by my husband, Joe, and our our neighbor, Steve Roessler, who worked on it together.

The bowl shown on the table is made of Tamarind wood, also found locally. The bowl was carved by another one of our neighbors, W. Stephen Knowles.

One of the special things about being down here in the Abacos is having time to really appreciate what is available, locally.   Local wood and driftwood make such great arts and crafts projects.

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