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Frank Parker

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My wife and I moved to the Army Residence Community (ARC) in 1997 and I immediately started working in the Hobby Shop helping other residents repair furniture and lamps for the residents. After working in the Hobby Shop for a while a resident asked me if I could repair a chair. The chair had a broken and missing spindle in the back and a spacer missing on the legs. That meant that the pieces had to be turned. We had a lathe and some old turning tools in the shop and I jumped in to learn and to turn the missing pieces. Long story short, I managed to get the pieces turned after many tries and I was hooked on woodturning. That experience resulted in taking two classes sponsored by Woodcraft, a spindle course, and a bowl course. Then it was just a matter of getting wood on the lathe and learning how to turn.


Like many new turners I turned some small bowls and pens. Of course, that experience led to branching out a bit over the years. I eventually began to expand my horizon and learning every time I put a piece of wood on the lathe. I expanded into making bird house ornaments, bowls, platters, salt and pepper mills, other types of Christmas ornaments and using elk and deer antler for wine glass stems. At a point in time one of the residents asked me to turn two cremation urns and that started a completely new venture. Over time I have turned some 50 urns for residents of the ARC. So far, all the urns have been turned out of mesquite.

Each year the ARC has a fall Arts and Crafts sale, with most of the items being sold being made by residents. That provides the residents and guests an opportunity to buy Christmas and other occasion gifts.

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