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Thread: Turner Interview: Glenn Hodges

  1. Turner Interview: Glenn Hodges

    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.

  2. #2
    From one Glenn (how many times have you said "with 2 n's"?) to another...I like your style. Nice to know ya.
    Glenn Clabo

  3. #3
    Very nice get to know you a bit Glenn. That was a sit-down chat kinda interview. I enjoyed it very much.
    "There's nothing wrong with Quiet" ` Jeremiah Johnson

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    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!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Putnam County, NY
    Thanks for taking the time Glenn. I always admire your work. Now I can admire you a bit as well.
    I could cry for the time I've wasted, but thats a waste of time and tears.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Benton City, WA
    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    La Habra Hts., CA
    Nice to read your interview Glenn-- I am glad that you are recovering and I enjoy your work!

  8. #8
    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!
    Big Mike

    I have done so much with so little for so long I am now qualified to do anything with nothing......

    P.S. If you are interested in plans for any project that I post, just put some money in an envelope and mail it to me and I will keep it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Benton Falls, Maine
    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.
    Only the Blue Roads

  10. #10
    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!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Houston, Texas
    Glenn, metalwork's loss is turnings gain. I enjoyed reading your interview and am glad to get to know you better.
    Good, Fast, Cheap--Pick two.

  12. 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.


  13. #13
    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..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Nashville, Georgia
    Thanks for all the kind words. I will try and get a picture of the lobster bouys up for you.
    Glenn Hodges
    Nashville, Georgia

    "Would you believe the only time I ever make mistakes is when someone is watching?"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    East of the Mississippi
    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
    941.44 miles South of Steve Schlumph


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