April 1, 2017 (9:00am to 1:00pm)

Mann Tool & Supply, 802 Chris Drive, West Columbia, SC 29169

For April, Palmetto Woodturners is excited to present a demonstration by Dick Gerard.

About the Artist

Dick began woodworking in 1979 and woodturning in 1981. His first instruction was with Rus Zimmerman in 1983. In 1985, he attended the first ever woodturning symposium, Arrowmont "Vision and Concept" where he helped to organize the American Association of Woodturners. Dick has served on the AAW Board of Directors for 6 years and has studied with David Ellsworth, Rude Osolnik, Mike O'Donnel, Mike Hosaluk, Ray Key, John Jordan, Clay Foster, and many others.

"I was intrigued by some articles in Fine Woodworking magazine about wooden bowl making on the lathe. Once I tried it, I was hooked!"

Thirty years later, everything about his craft inspires the Marion County artisan. If he had to single out the most inspirational aspect, "it would be the seemingly endless variety of objects that can be produced from wood," said Dick, who has traveled to places as far-flung as Australia, the Bahamas and Alaska to perfect his turning. "My work reflects my passion and my interests, from the humble wooden bowl, whether plain or with surface enhancements, to sculptural works. [It] reflects my love of wood, whether the object produced is functional or purely decorative. I believe that wood, with a few notable exceptions, is an underappreciated art medium. I would like to help correct that perception by producing objects from the lathe that are both well-made and regarded as worthy of the word 'artistic.'" 

His pieces often feature surface enhancements done through wood burning, air brushing, dyes, texturizing and carving.

"I am deeply moved by tribal art motifs, such as Native American, Australian Aboriginal designs, African tribal icons, and images and themes from all of Polynesia," said Dick, who received the American Association of Woodturners Lifetime Membership Award for contributions to the field of woodturning in 2004.

Born and raised in Indiana, his parents and grandparents promoted working hard, giving more than you get and respecting nature. All of that is reflected in his lathe work, particularly the many hours he’s spent exploring forests and woods all over the state. Those forays have been another great influence on why he chose to work with wood.