After spending over 25 years in Hollywood, filming television commercials, I began experimenting with a lathe I had inherited. Before I even mastered the technique, I could see that I wanted to find a way to give the pieces a little more life. A bowl, or a vase, or a sculpture sits on a shelf and has a form, and there’s a certain beauty in that, but I wanted to add movement and energy to that form.

I have always lived near the ocean, and was inspired to bring the motion and rhythm of the waves to a round object. The exploration of that concept led to the “wavy” design which is still the core element of my work today.

I started by placing the design on bowls, because that’s kind of the obvious thing to make on a lathe, but as I developed new techniques I found that I could remove the restriction of the vessel and let the design stand alone as a sculptural form.

By working with round forms I found this opportunity to create designs that have no beginning or end. Even as they sit still, you can imagine the design wrapping around the piece and coming back into view, giving rhythm to the design. By moving the shapes around on the piece I found the energy that hopefully gives a feeling of movement to an otherwise static form.

I live in Pacific Palisades, CA with my wife Candy, and two wonderful daughters, Lauren and Rachel. When I’m not in the studio, I enjoy Golf, Paddle Tennis, Skiing, Cycling, Kayaking, Hiking and Bocce.

Wave Bowls

In this action packed demo John will show two different ways to make his signature wave vessels.

For the first piece, John will take a block of wood, cut it apart, add a contrasting wood to create the wave and show you how to put it back together keeping the grain aligned. With a bandsaw, a few clamps and basic turning tools, this is a project you will be able to go home and do yourself.

The second piece will be a protruding wave bowl from a rough turned bowl. For this piece John will use his custom jig to cut a turned bowl into pieces. He will then modify the elements and put it all back together.

This piece has a higher skill level but there are many tricks that may help you with some of your own designs.

 While the design of the wave is the feature of this presentation, there are many additional tricks you will learn. John will show you safe ways to cut a round bowl on a bandsaw with almost any angle, and put it back together keeping the walls and grain aligned perfectly. You will learn how to bend wood in a microwave oven, which is interesting and has many fun applications. You will learn how to precisely turn a bowl smaller keeping the proportions exact. Most importantly, John hopes you will be able to use these ideas and tips to change and improve your own designs.

Flying Rib Vase

The biggest challenge in cutting a turned vase into pieces is getting the cut perfectly in the centre of the vase. John will show you different ways to cut a turned vase apart accurately and safely. Getting the pieces back together can sometimes be a bigger challenge.

In this demo John will show how to take a turned and finished vase, cut it apart, add protruding elements and reassemble the whole thing so the grain and walls remain aligned. He will also show how create and add the elements that protrude beyond the walls of the piece.

There are infinite design possibilities with this project, and the techniques shown here have helped many turners solve some of their own design problems. The idea of cutting apart a turned and finished piece is somewhat unique and, hopefully these concepts will help you develop your own turning voice.


This is a good beginner class but a lot of fun for turners of all levels. Bangles make great gifts for wives, daughters and friends, or for the women in the audience – yourself. They are also great items to add to your craft show booth. Anyone with a basic turning set can make a bangle.

In this demo John will demonstrate various ways to mount and turn wood bangles. John will show you specialized tools you can buy to make the process easier, but he will also show you how to use tools you already have to accomplish the same thing. It’s amazing how something as simple as a rubber band can make a big difference in the way you use a basic tool.

There are many ways to turn bangles and you will see lots of options so you can find the technique that’s best for you. John will also cover bangle sizes and talk about different styles so you can create your own unique bangles.

Round Bottom Bowl

There are quite a few tricks to getting a round bottom bowl to look and sit just right. In this demo John will take you through all the steps, show you some tricks, and share with you different ways to turn a correct round bottom bowl. This is a good demo for beginner and advanced turners.

Photography for Wood Turners

In this demo John will share from his experience as a professional photographer and motion picture cameraman.

The first half of the demo will talk about camera basics and the set-up. John will take questions and make sure you have the right equipment to take the best pictures of your turnings. The second half of the demo is where the fun really starts. John will actually create a set-up and move the lights around to show you the best way to maximize your set-up and get really great photos of your work.