View Full Version : SMC Turner Interview - Sascha Gast

Andy Hoyt
12-09-2007, 12:34 PM
Name: Sascha Gast

How young are you? Born 1969, and just turned 38.

Physical description: 5'11", 170 pounds


Where is home?
I was born in Munich, Germany, lived in Nuernberg most of my life, but for the past 12 years I am living in Los Angeles, Playa del Rey

Family information:
I used to be married for 3 years, after my divorce I started woodworking. I have been with the same girl, Jillian, now for almost 6 years and just got engaged last October. We will get married next year in Maui. We have 2 dogs, Jake, a yellow lab and Marley, his chocolate brother from another mother

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Do you have a website?
Yup. Sure do. (http://www.pbase.com/saschagast/woodturning)

Wow! That’s some incredible photography.

I am a hairstylist, started my apprenticeship in Germany 22 years ago. I manage a hair salon in Marina del Rey, Los Angeles and Jillian is my assistant manager. This is the only job I have ever had, I love doing hair

Shop Overview:
I have a 2-car garage, not enough space, but like most of you guys I have mastered the art of fitting newer and bigger machines in the smallest of spaces. I enjoy my time in the shop: sometimes flat work, sometimes turning, but sometimes I just love to take pictures of the things I have made.


How many lathes do you own?
Used to own: Jet mini VS, great starter lathe, had it for 6 months and sold it to get a Nova DVR lathe, even better lathe and a fine machine to do most everything I needed, but once you get to know me, you will notice that I have an addictive personality and therefore…

My current lathe: Stubby 1000 I bought about 3 years ago, the last lathe I will ever need. I love this machine, everyday I see her, I still have a smile on my face.

How many turning tools do you have?
I own about 50 tools, gouges, parting tools, and skews. I own a mix of brands and love them all, the nod goes to the Glaser tools and the Oneway gouges. I also have about 20 different hollowing tools, the full set of the McNaughton coring system, Keith Clark hollowing rig, Keith Clark steady rest, Oneway Steady rest and bowl steady, Vacuumaster Vacuum chuck that I got through Bill Grumbine, 5 Oneway Talon chucks and also the Stronghold chuck. I am sure I forgot many, but that'll do for now

How long have you been turning, and what got you started in the first place?
I have been turning for 4 years now. I was building a table for one of my clients and wanted to make the drawer pulls myself, so I got the Jet mini and made them from ebony. The next piece was a small chunk of wood that I had gotten from David Marks when I was up in his shop for a few days. My first tiny bowl and I was hooked.


Andy Hoyt
12-09-2007, 12:35 PM
What was your first completed turned project?
The drawer pulls on said table.


Oh. Right. That makes sense. All right then. Here’s another tough question.

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

What do you enjoy most about turning?
I used to think instant gratification, but that has changed now since I do love making more elaborate pieces these days that involve carving and texturing and soaking in oil for weeks at a time.

I love how turning keeps me on the edge, nothing is really planned out, sometimes I just go with the piece, sometimes I just have to change the shape because I messed something up. Many times I get a big surprise once the piece is off the lathe and for the first time get to feel it, how it lays in my hands, it's weight and the true proportions.

What do you enjoy the least about turning?
Cleaning, rough turning and not getting enough good wood around here, Los Angeles is really a tough place and I am envious of all of you guys living in Cherry and Walnut heaven.

Yeah, but then again, you get stuff like this.


Do you belong to a turning club?
The AAW, El Camino Wood turners, but I don't have time to go to any meetings.............ever


How do you keep track of all the pieces through all the cycles of dunking in danish oil?
That’s easy, they are done when they are done, sometimes they only need 15 submersions in oil, sometimes more, but as soon as they start drying, I see if the they need more time.


What’s your favorite individual piece that you have turned, and why?
I don't have one favorite, but yeah, the NIP bowls are a lot of fun


What is it about Norfolk Island Pine?
What's more fun to take an ugly piece of wood (trust me, unfinished, it's ugly) and after only a few hundred hours in oil it starts to come to life, lets the light shine through and looks like porcelain especially when I finish some of them with lacquer.

Why did you cut all of Britney Spears' hair off?
Have you listened to any of her music???:eek::eek:

Andy Hoyt
12-09-2007, 12:35 PM
What’s your favorite form that you turn?
I love hollow forms, but I do have a problem finding the right wood around here, but when I do find the wood, hollow vessels are great. Other than that, Norfolk pine bowls that are really thin to let the light shine through.
What do you not turn now that you want to - or plan to - in the future?
I don't really know yet, but I am thinking of some other media sometimes. But I really really really want to get my hands on some NIP from Hawaii, it looks very different from the Florida NIP I get, lighter color and not as dense

How do you take your Moxie? (Straight up? beer chaser? neat? with corn flakes?)
Oh man, I guess I missed out on that since I didn't grow up here, but I'll make up for it some day

What’s your favorite form someone else turns?
Malcolm Tibbetts (http://tahoeturner.com/) is THE master of his art form, I admire his patience, but I like so many turners and many of the masters I never even heard of. Ron Kent is a great guy, he is so willing to help you if you ask him a question. I can't stand turners that are afraid to share their secrets. I teach my assistants every day and I teach them everything I know about hair cutting. Am I worried that they take away business, not one bit.............I am really adorable and my clients love me.

What brought you to SMC?
I am pretty sure I heard about SMC on another board

What was your first post about? Or don’t you remember?
Funny you ask (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=85356#post85356)

Do you recall the first thread you started?
Yup. (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=12098)

Aww, man. Ffffflatwork.

Have you met or hung out with any fellow Creekers?
The only one I met and know pretty well is Marc Spagnulo (http://www.marcswoodcreations.com/), the "Wood Whisperer", great guy, Talks too much, hahahaha. He and his wife are good people

Got any nicknames? How'd you get them?
Besides everybody spelling my name wrong ever since I moved to the US, no, I don't have nicknames, but I never knew my name could be spelled in so many different ways

Now let's get a little deep... If you were a turning tool, what tool would you be and why?
Of course, I would be a deep hollowing tool.........but I am blushing too much to say why. But to be honest, I am a 1/2" bowl gouge, good for so many things (jack of all trades) but some things I just don't do well

If you won the Irish Sweepstakes what part of your life would change?
Truth be told, I love my life, my family, fiancée and my dogs, love my job and everything around me, I am living the American dream for the most part. I just wish sometimes to work less than I do, just so I could enjoy the little things more, but I picked the wrong profession for that

Thank you for asking me to do this, Andy, let me know if this will do.

It does, “Sasher”, It does. And thanks.

More “Sorcha” stuff

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Bob Hamilton
12-09-2007, 12:46 PM
Man, you've come a long way, Sascha! Gorgeous work!


Bernie Weishapl
12-09-2007, 1:02 PM
Sascha a great interview. It is good to know you better.

Larry Marley
12-09-2007, 1:30 PM
Hi Sascha,
Thanks for doing this. It is a fun read.

Great name for a Lab...

Neal Addy
12-09-2007, 3:58 PM
Nice interview, Sascha. It was good to learn a bit more about you. Your work, photography, and attitude are inspiring.

BTW, thanks a lot for pulling me into the photography abyss. I'll always know who to blame! :p

Pat Doble
12-09-2007, 4:02 PM
Great interview Sascha. It's always nice to find out more about the people here at SMC.

Brian McInturff
12-09-2007, 4:31 PM
Sascha,your work was one of the things that inspired me to delve deeper into turning. Your NIP's are just amazing. Once I saw them I knew I had to learn more so that one day I could produce something as nice. Hope to one day meet you in person. Great interview!

George Guadiane
12-09-2007, 4:54 PM
That first picture of you is a little scary! You came off much nicer than that (and friendly, to put a point on it).
Congratulations on an excellent interview.

sascha gast
12-09-2007, 7:07 PM
hahaha, thanx guys.
I can't believe Andy used that picture, one of my experiments with photoshop. hahaha.

thanx for the kind words guys:o

David Fried
12-09-2007, 7:10 PM
It's nice to meet the Sasha behind the beautiful works I've seen posted here.

That first picture of you is a little scary!

ROFL - it would make an intimidating avatar!

John Shuk
12-09-2007, 8:17 PM
Nice to get to know you better Sascha.

Tom Sherman
12-10-2007, 1:11 AM
Great interview Sasha, thanks for sharing.

Paul Heely
12-10-2007, 8:53 AM
Nice interview Sascha. Good to know you better.

Gary Herrmann
12-11-2007, 8:19 AM
Great interview, Sascha. Once in awhile, I may have to pratisch mein Deutsch.

When I first pulled up the interview I thought you'd gotten hold of a pic of my dogs.

Steve Schlumpf
12-11-2007, 8:53 AM
Thanks for doing the interview Sascha! Always great to get to know a fellow Creeker a little better! Love your turnings! Great style, great colors and great photography!

Jim Becker
12-11-2007, 11:09 AM
Excellent interview, Sascha!

sascha gast
12-11-2007, 12:43 PM
I have been slowly going through all the other interviews and read most of them so far. though i don't post much right now because life is a little busy, I really enjoy this group and man what talent we have here.

thank you guys very much

Don Orr
12-11-2007, 1:10 PM
Very nice interview Sascha, nice to know more about you. Your work is outstanding. Thanks for sharing, and be sure to stop in to the Creek once in a while to say hello.

sascha gast
12-11-2007, 2:08 PM
I am not gone ,haha, but between my work(hair-----Christmas season!!!
and all my other hobbies, saltwater fish, photography, I also have some flatwork to do and now I started another hobby, I always wanted to learn go to airbrush, so now I practice that when I have a minute

But I read up on here at least 1 or 2 times a week, just wish I had more time:(