Friday, April 19, 2019

Turning is Better Than Therapy - Tony Klepic






“What I love the most about wood turning is that there are no constraints on size, dimensions, shape or form.  Measurements do not have to be exact as they do in other aspects of woodworking such as cabinet or box making.  In my opinion there are enough constraints on our typical daily lives.  This is what makes woodturning such a freeing, artistic experience for me,” says Tony Klepic who has been turning on a wood lathe for about 7 years now. 


Tony, a Northern Virginia native and 27-year employee of a local school system, has been a woodworker for over 20 years.  “It started out really just trying to be handy making improvements on my home.  From there I used the tools I had acquired for DIY improvement projects to make furniture for the home.  Beds, desks, shelves and cabinets for the kid’s rooms, and for the living areas.  I found that though it was satisfying to see the finished project I grappled with some aspects that were not as fun.”  Tony references the fact that in furniture making measurements have to be very near exact or corners don’t match, table tops are not level, and the project can be a wash.  Though in the end he says they were all good looking pieces he found the work could be tedious, and frustrating at times.


That all changed for Tony when his wife bought him a mini lathe for his birthday one year.  “I used the cutoff pieces of past projects to turn pens, bottle stoppers, and handles for kitchen utensils.  From the moment I put the first piece of wood on the lathe and started turning I was hooked!  There is just something therapeutic about turning that made me realize I had found my true passion.  I didn’t have to worry about exact measurements, or sticking to the original design.  I could just let the creative juices flow and see where things ended up.  It felt like art from the moment I started” 


Tony has moved on to turning lidded boxes, bowls (especially natural edge) and over the past year has found a new interest in segmented turning.  He has also started putting more artistic flair into his bowls using textures and coloring.  “Incorporating other woodworking techniques, such as wood carving, staining, stippling and dying has really given my work an artistic edge that I have really enjoyed.”

Come by both Gallery Underground and Gallery Clarendon to watch this awesome woodturner mature in his artistic form.  I am sure in the years to come he will continue to wow visitors with his beautiful work.