Looking out his window in June 2007, awaiting a laminectomy for an L 4/5 disc in need of repair, Sam gave thought and had time for a pause; retiring, "now what in my life?" At the same time, his neighbor, Patrick, was turning 80 years old. Everyday when seeing each other, Patrick would point to a big leaf maple tree in the distance, the tree being old and arthritic, a history unto its own, and say “widow maker! That’s what that tree will be someday.”
Those years have long since passed, the surgeon having fixed his spine and Patrick got his wish, not that the tree would make a widow-maker out of itself, but that before so, the tree would be transformed, just like Sam, himself. As Sam was in the search for cabinet makers and finding no one who would immortalize this wonderful tree, fruitfully, three men showed up one day out of the blue, during his convalescence, all being wood turners. Three men, three different styles, three different philosophies, and they all welcomed the tree as an art-form, ready to take on a metamorphosis, as the tree evolved into a new 'life.' That tree was the catalyst for Sam as they opened their shops, and hearts, teaching him the fine art and craft of making that transformation happen. Sam's 'new career' now fosters that transformation with his wood, his lathe, his re-claimed trees, turning them, literally AND figuratively, into beautiful wooden bowls.
The lathe and the process has given Sam an appreciation for beauty, form, function and a reason, in general. The shape of a bowl, the use of a bowl, the grain or age of the wood, the finish are all part of being open to what life presents. Sam continues making himself happy with the process and hope the meditation of movement finds you joyful.
Now being retired, once a public schoolteacher and now currently teaching yoga part-time. This spring Sam was part of a feature on Chronicle about the North Quabbin area with his feature section being toward the end of the segment. Sam would love to meet you and hope to be able to show you his work and will be at the Amherst Farmers' Market, along with his brother & sister-in-law, Bruce and Rachel of Little White Goat Dairy, on Saturday's to do so! Feel free to stop by and talk with Sam, or he can also be contacted to set up an appointment if there are any comments or questions. Visit here to see an online gallery of his current work.