exhibition calendar

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Peepers, Ray & Martha Rountree
Passion Lily, Ray & Martha Rountree
Elephant Ears, Ray & Martha Rountree

Ray and Martha Rountree

Contemporary Woodturning

May 3 – June 4, 2010

From his farm’s woodlands, Ray Rountree salvages trees damaged by storm or insect infestation (cherry, maple, elm, sycamore, magnolia, oak, etc.). He prefers turning "green wood" which is easier on the tools and the turner, but which require a drying time of weeks or months between the Rough-Turning and the Final-Turning stages.

Using no sketch or pattern, he develops the piece on the lathe as he turns. This provides opportunity to "read" the wood, and flexibility to make changes to best reveal Mother Nature’s "beauty marks"!

Ray’s tools are his wood lathes, each weighing about 900 pounds, and smaller tools – such as tiny, dental bits. Several coats of lacquer are applied to protect and enhance the soft-look of the natural wood and grain patterns.

Today you’ll find Ray in his "Studio" 8 to 10 hours a day, using his hidden talents to reveal Mother Nature’s "hidden secrets."

Martha, a former elementary school teacher and Ray’s soul mate, initially supported Ray by coordinating his exhibitions, managing inventory, and critiquing quality. However, an "expressive itch" and Ray’s insistence eventually drew her into his "creative web" to become his Embellishment Designer. Embellishments are added with the intent of complimenting (not hiding) the wood "canvas." The design is sketched in pencil on Ray’s turned, rough-form for him to inlay, carve or sculpt. Martha is responsible, also, for executing any pyrographic (woodburning) elements.

Reflecting on their endeavors, Ray and Martha acknowledge that the evolution, success and versatility of their work are the result of their partnership.


Filligree Bowl, Ray and Martha Rountree   Melody Untamed, Ray and Martha Rountree   Chocolate and Vanilla