Let us introduce ourselves! George A Olsen, Jr. has been creatively turning wood since 2004. From the first he enjoyed discovering what was inside a particular piece of wood, and what he could fashion from it. He joined clubs and read many books and articles and made a lot of wood chips. As his skill increased he enjoyed it more…but whatever would we do with all the turned pieces?
“With my wife Theresa’s and friend Claudine’s and others’ encouragement I began to enter shows, and found a market for my wood. Problem solved! I experimented with different woods and new tools, some of which I developed. Theresa began to learn to turn as well as handle the business end. I typically create useful pieces that have uniqueness about them. Each pepper or salt mill’s wood dictates its final shape. It is a pleasure to furnish people with beautiful tools,” George said.
Living in the Catskill region has furnished us with a wide diversity of local woods to use for turning, and each kind provides many variations. The region has a wealth of craftspeople who learn from each other and foster the arts. We belong to five guilds (The Artisans Gallery in Middleburgh, The Artisan’s Guild in Oneonta, Cooper Country Crafts in Oneonta and the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guilds in Margaretville and Delhi) where our work is sold. The Catskill Woodnet of Pure Catskills has provided a venue of encouragement and support with opportunities to enrich our knowledge of the business of doing business in our region.
Here we are with a nut bowl that George turned for a show at Herkimer County Community College, and for which he won first place in the wood division. The most fun we have with it is Christmas time when the 6 grandchildren come and they take turns cracking nuts. And afterwards, we do not have to clean up shells from all corners of the living room as most of them land neatly in the bowl!