Chris Hoehle is a professional woodturner based in Denver, Colorado. While his body of work is expansive and spans a wide variety of genres, he is known best for his series of wall hangings, Ripples, and for his mastery of classic forms and good proportions. His pieces are often embellished with the bold colors of wood dye, which he skillfully layers over chatoyant woods such as curly maple, to achieve a shimmering gradient effect, or the more muted tones of milk paint used as a silky, nostalgic nod to the rich past of American woodworking.

While Hoehle maintains an active studio practice creating work that he sells in local galleries and art festivals, he is equally passionate about teaching, and is known as a patient, insightful teacher that especially enjoys working with complete beginners and helping them get a good start in the craft. He developed a popular series of ongoing beginner classes and open shop days at the community woodshop at the Denver Tool Library, and he has taught week-long workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Lights, color, chatoyance!

Chris Hoehle

Using dye to create gradients and other effects on figured wood – I’ll demonstrate how I create a gradient effect on the rim using many layers of two or more different colors of transtint dye on figured maple, and many other creative dye techniques, effects, and possibilities will be demonstrated as well.

Picture Frame Inlay Boxes

Chris Hoehle

This demo will cover my process for creating an end grain box with a contrasting wood inlay “framed” by the rim of the lid that is visible from both the top and the underside of the lid. (In contrast to many inlaid box lids that are only visible from the top of the lid).

In addition to the special steps needed to create that effect, I will cover all of the usual topics for end-grain box making such as:

  • Hollowing in to end grain with the spindle gouge and scrapers
  • Getting the fit of the lid just right. (The box will have the typical over-fitting lid where a tenon in the base of the box fits inside a flange in the box lid). I’ll start with a tight fit to be able to hold the box lid on to the base for shaping the box as one unit, and then later I’ll dial the fit in along the spectrum of possible fits such as the Tupperware-style hard “plop” to a softer vacuum fit that while still not loose, requires much less force to open.
  • Design considerations such as making the grain look continuous from lid to base and making the join between the lid and the base look intentional by adding a light v-groove, or disguising it with a feature such as a small bead.

Get a grip: How and Why to Turn Your Own Handles (Hands-on)

Chris Hoehle

I often find that the handle supplied by the manufacturer on a bowl gouge is too short for my liking, so in this rotation I show you how easy it is to remove the gouge from the existing handle, and turn a custom one that better suits your needs. You can customize everything from the length, to the grip thickness, to the color of the wood and the ferrule, and I’ve found that using a handle with a thicker than usual grip has the potential to relieve tendonitis, tennis elbow, and other conditions caused or exacerbated by overgripping a handle that is too thin.

If you have a favorite tool (or if you find a new favorite in the vendor area) that you would like to make a handle for, bring it with you. Keep in mind that we will be working on mini lathes in the hands-on room so because of that (and the supplied blanks) your finished handle length will be limited to about 12″ max, making a spindle/detail gouge the ideal candidate for something to rehandle in this class.

If you don’t have a particular tool in mind yet, you can still feel free to come to this session- drilling for the actual shaft or shank of the tool you’re going to handle is the last step in the process so you can complete your handle except for that step and have it ready to go next time you need one.