View Full Version : Turner Interview: Glenn Hodges

Mark Cothren
02-27-2006, 9:21 AM
Name: Glenn Hodges

DOB: April 8, 1942

Physical description (G-rated, please)
5 ft. 10 in. 225 lbs
Silver haired daddy

Location (for how long, previous locations, etc)
Sugar Cane Lane
Nashville, GA 31639
I have lived here for 25 plus years. This is the old family farm on which
cotton, peanuts, and pine trees are grown. I live 2 miles from town on a dirt road, that is why they refer to me as the last of the dirt road sports. I moved here after putting in time in the big towns of Atlanta, Columbia, SC, and Tallahassee, Fla.

Family information (brag on your spouse, kids, grandkids, dog, etc)
The LOML is Marj which is a RN at a local hospital. We have 2 sons, 2
granddaughters and 2 grandsons on the way so we are on pins and needles. We have a German Shepherd, Buster, and a I don't know what kind of dog named Baby. Their main reasons for being is to protect this place against squirrels.

Vocation (what do you do for a living, and what have you done previously)
After teaching school for 2 years I went into educational sales for over 30 years traveling mainly in Georgia and somewhat in nearby states. I am now in a forced retirement because of a head-on car accident in 1998 when 2 young boys went to sleep and ended my traveling and pain free life. This caused me to retire. Now all I do is turn bowls.

Equipment Overview (lathe, tools, etc)
16 inch Jet Bandsaw, 3 Husky chainsaws, 1 Craftsman tablesaw (never use)

How many lathes have (or do) you own? Tell us about 'em.
Euro 2000 Poolewood 2hp with 20 in swing, swivel head, and variable speed drive is the one I use the most. Nova 3000 is used for spindles and sanding Jet Mini for demoing and traveling

How many turning tools do you have?
I don't really know. In search of the perfect tool I have over 50 or 60 and probably only use 6 most of the time. They are a mixture of Crown, P&N, Glacer, Sorby, etc. BTY, I never did find the perfect one.

Tell us about your shop
My shop is 40 X 25 heated with a wood heater. I don't need it often for
example it was 73 here yesterday. I am in deep South Georgia in fact I am a member of the North Florida Woodturners in Tallahassee, FL.

How long turning?
About 6 years

What got you into turning?
BTA (Before the accident) I was a blacksmith. I have a complete blacksmith shop with 3 forges, anvils, power hammer, treddle hammer, etc. I can no longer do this because of the damage to my foot in the wreck. My father-in-law realized I was going nuts because of not being able to do anything after my accident so he rigged up an old Craftsman lathe for me, in one of my barns. I would go out on my crutches and tinker with it. I made lobster pot bouys I had seen on my travels up the NE coast. I wanted to turn bowls so I started with bowls, now you must know I am on my own doing all of this on my crutches or a tall stool with a lathe I cussed most of the time. As you can probably determine by this time the Buck tools were in need of sharpening. Friends, I knew nothing, and did not know anyone to ask anything. I was tearing out chunks of wood and did not even know what a catch was. I tore that lathe, pot
metal banjo all to Hades and back with parts laying all over the shop. I
still was determined to turn a bowl so I got on the Internet and found Badger Pond, and after getting some help and info from them and another operation on this foot. I kept poring money into this shop. I had to put sides on the shop to keep the money I was putting into it from poring out and blowing away. All funnies aside, woodturning has saved my life. It has taken me through a rough time in my life when I could not work, could not create, and was feeling pretty low about my future. Wood turning gave me a passion and I think this is what we are all searching for in life. Thank goodness I have found mine.

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I like the creative element in woodturning. The ability to take something
another person would call trash and turn it into something useful and
beautiful also appeals to me. I think this is from my blacksmithing days.

What was your first completed turned project?
Making lobster bouys

What is your favorite form that you turn?
I like my natural edge bowls and the way they show the heartwood.

What is your favorite form someone else turns/has turned?
I do not have favorites, I admire them all and learn from them.

What is your favorite wood to work with and why?
Wild Black Cherry will make you weep when the crack shows up, but the color, smell and grain makes up for the trouble. I also like the beauty and stability of mesquite.

Have you met or hung out with any turnin' Creekers? Tell us about it.
Not yet, but the welcome sign is always out down here. I would like to take a trip one day and stop by and visit with some of the people on the Creek.

What is your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I did a mesquite burl natural edge which took 2nd place at the Longwood FL show out of 340 artist. The natural edge was a good medium to show off the figure of the burl. It is nice to know others appreciate our work. I think of myself as a craftsman, not an artist, but I never argue with someone calling me an artist and offering me a check.

What if your favorite piece someone else has turned, and why?
I enjoy looking at all the work posted on Sawmill Creek especially the
newbees work and how they improve. I look forward to the hollowforms Travis Stinson post. They show a real tallent for this medium, and an inspiration to all.

What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
I like to turn big bowls, but the market is limited for these things. I
would like to do large hollowforms sometimes down the road.

What brought you to SMC?
I was introduced to it through the closing of Badger Pond. I found BP by
searching for anything about woodturning. I live in an area where no one else turns so the SMC is a boon to me in an ability to communicate with other turners. The sharing of ideas with people like me is so rewarding.

Got any nicknames? How'd you get it?

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?
Southern Magnolia because I am Southern to the core. I was a War Between The States reenactor BTA. I also did shows with my blacksmithing at historical events.

Two ladies drove up to my shop one day and I knew they were there to entice me to go to their church. I beat them to the punch by asking them if they would like to see what I do, they had to say yes. I took them to my bowl store, and showed them all of my finished bowls. Their mouths dropped open. I said that when I drove down the road the good Lord showed me these bowls in the trees. I asked them if they saw these bowls as they looked at these trees. They said no, so I said maybe you should go to my church and get to know my Lord. My church is ______. They left and have not returned. I thought I would leave you all with that helpful hint.

Glenn Clabo
02-27-2006, 9:36 AM
From one Glenn (how many times have you said "with 2 n's"?) to another...I like your style. Nice to know ya.

John Hart
02-27-2006, 10:21 AM
Very nice get to know you a bit Glenn. That was a sit-down chat kinda interview. I enjoyed it very much.:)

Ken Fitzgerald
02-27-2006, 10:31 AM
Nice to get to know you Glenn! Your interview gives me inspiration that one can overcome physical hardships and one can go from "bonkers" to beautiful art! I alway look forward to your posts!

John Shuk
02-27-2006, 10:32 AM
Thanks for taking the time Glenn. I always admire your work. Now I can admire you a bit as well.

Paul Douglass
02-27-2006, 10:43 AM
It's a real pleasure to meet you Glenn. How about posting a picture ot two of your lobster bouys you have made. That sounds interesting to a desert rat like me. Man, blacksmithing. Now there is one I really admire. I try to watch that Forge and Anvil show on RFD TV but I forget and seem to just catch the tail end of it most the time. Love to know that art.

Jerry Clark
02-27-2006, 10:46 AM
Nice to read your interview Glenn-- I am glad that you are recovering and I enjoy your work!:)

Michael Stafford
02-27-2006, 11:26 AM
Glenn, I am so sorry that an unfortunate accident brought you to woodturning. But I feel like I can speak for a lot of people, the way you turn wood has brought a lot of beauty to the world. You have taken material that people would have burned or wasted and created things that people admire and enjoy. I am sure that knowledge brings a lot of enjoyment to you. I know your work brings a lot of enjoyment to us at the Creek. Have a great day everyday!:D

Andy Hoyt
02-27-2006, 12:08 PM
Glenn - Happy to know that there's another Druid out there!

You're always welcome to come up here and study buoys in their natural habitat - which is mostly everyone's backporch, attic, barn, living room, restaurant, motel lobby, pickup gun rack, key chains, and occasionally the Gulf of Maine.

Mike Ramsey
02-27-2006, 12:36 PM
Good to meet you Glen! Injoyed reading about you, I would
not have guessed that you were a Smithy in another life! Ever
since I found SMC I've looked forward to your posts of the
wood that you bring to life! Thanks for showing us all
the great work!

Cecil Arnold
02-27-2006, 12:38 PM
Glenn, metalwork's loss is turnings gain. I enjoyed reading your interview and am glad to get to know you better.

Stu Ablett in Tokyo Japan
02-27-2006, 3:42 PM
Great read Glenn, thanks for taking the time.

Blacksmith eh?

That is a lost art, too bad you cannot do it anymore, but I'm sure glad that you found something else to fill the void.


Don Baer
02-27-2006, 3:52 PM
Without the accident you wouldn't have found turning and we wouldn't be blessed with your art so it proves that all things happen for a reason. I realy like the story about your church, I'll have to remember that next time I get uninvited non woodworkers visiting me in my Garage/Shop..:D

Glenn Hodges
02-27-2006, 5:46 PM
Thanks for all the kind words. I will try and get a picture of the lobster bouys up for you.

Keith Burns
02-27-2006, 5:52 PM
Glenn, it's nice to get to know you better. Great interview. I feel like i just left your front porch after an afternoon of chatting and drinking iced tea:) :) Thanks

Bob Noles
02-27-2006, 5:57 PM

From one southern Georgia boy to another..... Great interview and wonderful to get to know more about you. If you ever get up toward the NW end of Atlanta, give me an advanced shout, I'd love to spend some time with ya.

Bruce Shiverdecker
02-27-2006, 6:10 PM
Thanks for sharing Glenn. I think I'll steal your "Bowl" trick the next time someone gets "PESKY".


Ed Scolforo
02-27-2006, 6:30 PM
Glenn: I really enjoyed your interview. I always sensed that you were a special person and appreciate your heartfelt feedback given to all at SMC. Your natural edge bowls are awesome. Thanks for all the teaching you've given me. Ed

doug webb
02-27-2006, 6:39 PM
Thanks for sharing all this with us. I found a lot of kindred feelings in your interview. Woodworking in general and turning in particular has gotten me thru the past 10 years since I left work..SMC has became my sanctum for the times when my back won't let me get to shop. My pest control is a sign that reads " Please don't bother ME with what YOU think is important." Some say rude but it is effective.. Thanks again for sharing...BTW I didn't know North Fl woodworkers took members that wern't in the Tallahassee area.

Dennis Peacock
02-27-2006, 7:01 PM

I enjoyed your interview. I'm sorry of your accident that changed your life for what may seem like forever. It's a pleasure to know you better and all that you share with us here on SMC.

Bernie Weishapl
02-27-2006, 7:33 PM
Glenn it is a pleasure to know you better. Sorry to hear about the accident but it looks like it led you down another path. A path that has been wonderful to you.

Travis Stinson
02-27-2006, 8:30 PM
What a pleasure to know you a little better Glenn. I too appreciate the sincere feedback you give everyone and always look forward to seeing your work.

Dale Thompson
02-27-2006, 9:12 PM
Thank you for your sincere talk and the rest of the interview. :) I LOVE your "bowl" response to the "intruders". Our relationship with GOD is a PERSONAL thing. If that includes a church affiliation, so much the better. :)

By the way, from what I have seen of your work, you are truly BLESSED - regardless of any FORMAL religious beliefs! :)

Thank you again for your candid interview. :)

Dale T.

Ernie Nyvall
02-27-2006, 10:03 PM
Glenn, it's really nice to get to know you better. You have been a real inspiration to me, and now with your interview, even more so. When I first saw one of your NE bowls, I headed that direction so that I have completed a few and have four in the process. And of course I can't get one particular NE walnut vase out of my head.

The next time you head to Texas for some mesquite, it'd be an honor to meet you.


Curt Fuller
02-27-2006, 10:05 PM
Great interview Glenn and very inspirational. Nice to know you.

Jim Dunn
03-01-2006, 7:10 AM
Glenn, having read your interview, I'd just like to say, "glad to know ya a lot better". Very nice interview, thanks.


Jim Ketron
03-04-2006, 9:00 AM
Nice interview Glenn!
Glad you found your sanity in woodturning, there is no other way to relax me and take my mind off things.

Berta_ Nicholson
01-03-2012, 5:23 PM
Hi this Barten.
All of the sugessions and the information are so nice. And is very usefull for the member of this site. So i am very thankfull to you


michel gorge
11-28-2016, 11:59 PM
Hello Glenn. Nice to hear about you seems you are a great person with extrovert nature letting us know much about your passion.

Jay Mullins
12-11-2016, 10:50 PM
Nice to get to know you Glenn.

I had a couple of church ladies come to my house one day, I was wearing a T-shirt with a lewd message. They tried to ignore it but watching their eyes I could see that they couldn't stop looking at it. They didn't stay long, and didn't come back.

Be Well