Studio of Bill Ooms

Bill Ooms

Fine Woodworking and Lathe Work

Wood is a unique medium for an artist -- a tree was once a living thing of beauty. A wood artist has the opportunity to transform the once-living wood into something uniquely different that retains its beauty for generations to come.

Small, highly decorated pieces are decorated through the use of an ornamental lathe. Formerly ornamental turning was called the "hobby of nobility" because of the cost of the complex machinery required. Recent advances in technology have allowed ornamental turning to become more popular with woodworkers.

Segmented sculptures are made from pieces of various woods assembled together. Smooth curves are the result of sections being turned on the lathe prior to assembly. A "ribbon sculpture" resembles a thin ribbon of wood that twists and winds into a closed shape.

Hollow forms are turned on a lathe from a solid piece of wood or from a number of segments of wood. Many of the shapes are inspired by fine Native American pottery of the Southwest. Natural burl edges and natural voids in the wood are part of the artistic design of the pieces.

Bill is a second generation wood-turner and learned basic woodworking techniques from his father. Even as a young man, his desire was to envision and create new things. This led him to his first career in engineering, and now he has returned to his roots as a full-time woodworker in his shop north of Prescott, Arizona.

Computer simulation is an increasingly important tool for the artist. When making complex pieces that can take weeks or even months in the shop, it is important carefully plan the project. Some of the software tools that Bill uses are now being made available to other woodworkers. For more information, see the software portion of this web site.

Art in wood has been Bill's profession for many years, but music has also been a passion and means of artistic expression. His first CD "Prescott Hometown Christmas" is now available. This instrumental album includes guitar, handmade wooden Irish Whistle, and other acoustic instruments recorded in Prescott, Arizona. MP3 samples and more information is available on the Music page.