Al Mather     -     Woodturner     -     Home

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An image of my workshop.

About this woodturner

This is from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, p. 219.   Some of you might enjoy this:   “We imitate God’s blessedness when we find delight and happiness in all that is pleasing to God, both those aspects of our own lives that are pleasing to God and the deeds of others.   In fact, when we are thankful for and delight in the specific abilities, preferences, and other characteristics with which God has created us as individuals, then we also imitate his attribute of blessedness.   Furthermore, we imitate God’s blessedness by rejoicing in the creation as it reflects various aspects of his excellent character.   And we find our greatest blessedness, our greatest happiness, in delighting in the source of all good qualities, God himself.”   Amen!

My experience.

Before 2002 I had little knowledge of woodturning.   That year a lathe that my grandfather had had came into my shop.   I was immediately inthralled.

I bought a couple of turning books, however, I was too ignorant to learn from them, at least at first.   And at the time I did not know of any other woodturner, locally, whom I could look to for advice, so I learned on my own.   I do thank God that he kept me safe through that time, and since then.   As time went on I found the Maine Woodturners and others, and have been very thankful for other turners who willingly share they knowledge, skill and ideas.

Maybe this might be labeled as stubbornness or thick-headedness, shortly after I started turning I became convinced that I ought to learn to use the skew chisel.   Part of the reason for this was that I had a lathe that could turn a 12 inch bowl, but no larger, and I knew that there were other people out there marketing bowls.   These turners had years of experience on me, therefore, I concluded, I should concentrate on something else.   Even now, while I do turn bowls, I consider myself first a spindle turner, that is, most of what I turn has the grain running parallel to the lathe bed.

I enjoy the variety of products that may be turned through spindle turning.   And I still use the skew chisel.

My philosophy.

How does my faith impact the area of my life that relates to woodturning?

Woodturning, for me, is not just a job.   An income.   It is something that I enjoy.   And even more importantly, it something in which and by which I might glorify God and serve others.

The one who created the wood also created me.

The Creator gave to man his likeness.   I get my creativity from the One who created.

The Creator gave to man permission to use His creation for art as well as for functional items.

The Creator made man steward of much of what He had created upon this world.   I am accountable for how and why I use His creation.   I am to honor my creator with my creativity.

I am to look upon the wood as a created object.   Its Creator created it with certain properties, strengthens and weakness.   I would do well to know the wood, as it is, wood created by the Creator.

I do not speak in terms of “the wood speaking to me”.   I am the creator, under God.   I am the artist, the craftsman, and hopefully, a wise craftsman who reads, along with its defects and imperfection, the grain and the structure of the wood and uses it well.

I am the artist, the craftsman, the steward, who offers to the Creator, and to my fellow men, a little something with and for the Creator’s honor.

I am to give thanks to the Creator for giving to me any amount of creativity and skill.

I am not to be enslaved to it.

With gladness, I am not to let it swallow up money, time, or energy that ought to be used otherwise.

I am to be thankful for what I can produce as gifts and products.

I am to be thankful when I might make a profit.

Woodturning opens up contacts that I probably would not have otherwise.   I feel honored to represent God within the woodturning community, and I hope to do this well.  My goal is not to win so many people over to belief in Christ, but rather, to be a faithful servant of the Lord, a servant who also turns wood.   The Lord is the one who turns hearts and souls.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Col 3:17 ESV)

“... whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies--in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”   (1Pe 4:11 ESV)

“For from [God] and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Rom 11:36 ESV)