As the editor/writer of the weekend arts, entertainment, lifestyle section of a newspaper, I get the opportunity to meet and write about so many different people. Of course there are the token odd-balls and lame-o stories, but most of the time, my subjects are fascinating. I especially love writing about the creative people. I love seeing how they work and where they create the magic.
Glenn Robison is one person I recently profiled. He uses a lathe to literally turn hunks of wood into beautiful bowls. The best part is, he doesn’t buy any wood. All of it — birch, palm, oak, cork oak, juniper, elm, cherry, walnut — is recycled, mostly given to him by neighbors who go hunt for firewood or are just cleaning up their own yards.
But, as I watched him use these long, metal hand tools to shave the wood into a shape, I thought, I this is something I could do. OK, so I especially thought that after I saw that some of his pieces had $400 and $900 price tags on them. (I mean, hello: In debt college grad who’s looking for a little extra wiggle room in her budget!) By no way am I saying what he does is easy! He let me and my photographer, Brian, try it out, and Glenn did keep a pretty steady grip on my hand. But, I still think it’s something I could learn.
Aside from his craft, Glenn and his wife, Pat, were really cool. They have this awesome house full of windows that they designed themselves in the 1950s. Wooden piece of art are everywhere — on bookshelves beside design books, on the fire place, even in his garden. They are children of a 1960s Berkeley, so they have a little free-flowing, pseudo-hippie vibe to them. Very cool.
Now I’m on my quest to 1.) finish up some other projects, and 2.) save a little cash to buy a used lathe on Craigslist.