Gary Raines

Wood Turning Arts

I am a retired geologist and now a woodturner living in Reno. Much of geology involves gaining an understanding of the three-dimensional form of the rocks in the earth. My interest in three-dimensional forms was stimulated in middle-school woodshop where I discovered the woodturning lathe and a life-long love of wood. My studies of geology further spurred me to appreciate natural forms, but only allowed limited time for woodturning. When I retired, I finally had the time to focus on woodturning, exploring wood, and natural forms in my shop in Reno.


My goal in woodturning is to display the natural beauty and uniqueness of each piece of wood using classical shapes. The process of discovering three-dimensional forms in a chunk of wood and the challenge of how to best display the characteristics of that piece of wood intrigues me. I prefer forms, textures, and weight that make the observer want to explore the object with hands as well as eyes. This includes incorporating the natural cracks, inclusions, tension, and other “imperfections” into the design as they occur in the natural wood.

I work mainly with green North American woods salvaged from peoples’ yards. Turning green wood can lead to interesting oval shapes and wrinkled textures as the turned form dries. These “distorted” shapes and textures add interesting surprises to the objects. The books of David Ellsworth and Richard Raffin, the pottery of the Indians of the southwestern United States, and the AAW and Utah woodturning symposiums influence my designs and approaches to woodturning. 

I have had pieces accepted in juried shows at Lubeznik Center for the Arts (Through the Woods and Around the Block), AAW Symposium (Turning 25 – A Celebration), Pittsburgh Tree Arbor Days, the Greater Denton Art Council (Materials: Hard and Soft), and The Unitarian Universalist Artisan Show and Sale.