September 10 - October 22, 2004
John Penrod

Wooden Vessel
John Penrod

"I am a full-time wood turner who produces a wide variety of wooden vessels and art objects. Each piece is an original and is turned on a wood lathe using hand-held gouges, scrapers, boring bars and skews. The majority of my work consists of whole-log, end-grain turnings. Some pieces have additional carving applied following turning."

"The majority of my woodturnings are made form subtropical woods including Norfolk Island Pine, Grapefruit, royal Poinciana, Jacaranda and West Indies Rosewood. I specialize in turning vessels from Palm trees including Sabal, Queen, Washingtonia, Royal and Canary Island Date Palm. Each turning is designed to show the wood’s finest features and every item produced is designed, turned and carved and finished solely by myself. With the exception of decorative wood accents, all turning s are fashioned from 'recovered' or 'found' wood."

"Wood has natural warmth and beauty that sets it apart from other media. Although it is greatly appreciated visually, wood is a truly multi-sensory medium and more fully appreciated using visual, tactile and olfactory senses. It is very rewarding to take a piece of a stately old tree, destined to rot or become an addition to the firewood pile and give it new life by turning it on the lathe and creating an object to be cherished and enjoyed for many years. It is the thrill of exposing the beautiful patterns and designs hidden within each piece of wood and the creation of an item representing new life from an old tree that makes woodturning so gratifying."

Method of Production

John’s woodturnings are shaped and hollowed using a wood lathe and a wide variety of hand-held tools. Each piece is an original. Some items have additional carving applied after turning or are turned ultra-thin and pierce-carved using a high-speed dental hand piece and dental burrs.


Nearly all turnings are created from “recovered” wood; i.e., trees removed from residential areas, building and highway construction sites, trees toppled during storms or removed from groves. John uses primarily woods which grow in Florida. Species include Norfolk Island Pine, citrus species, Royal Poinciana, Chinese Tallow, Jacaranda, Silk Oak, Camphor, Magnolia, etc. and several species of Palm.

Educational Statement

John is self-taught as a wood turner, but has attended symposia sponsored by the American Association of Woodturners as well as workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. His formal education was completed at Yale, the University of Florida (BA ’67, MA ’68) and Florida State (Ph. D. ’76). He retired from the field of Audiology in 1996 and has been a full-time wood turner since his retirement.

John Penrod: New Works
September 10 - October 22, 2004

Florida Craftsmen Gallery
5th and Center Ave.
St. Petersburg, Florida