In the words of Bill Payton:
In April 2010 (at age 70) after purchasing a lathe, I began the love-affair of shaping wood. This was a craft I had always wanted to pursue, but never found the time to do so. I have no formal training in wood turning. All of my pieces are formed by trial and error and allowing my artistic ability to guide me in creating intriguing pieces of art. Through spending many hours on the lathe, I have now evolved to turning out beautiful pieces of art.
I am a juried exhibiting member of the Alabama Designer/Craftsmen. I am also a member of the Alabama Woodturners Association. I won Best of Show 2016 at the Jerry Brown Arts Festival in Hamilton AL. I was the 1st person to win Best of Show two years in a row (2014 & 2015) at Auburn City Fest in Auburn AL.
All of my pieces are turned on a wood lathe, oiled with tung oil & buffed to a shine. They are all food-safe. Most of the woods used are native to central Alabama-harvested from my farm, donated by friends & customers, taken off the curb or purchased from a local logger who finds interesting woods. Foreign or non-native woods are purchased to use with ice cream scoops, bottle openers, and wine stoppers. Some of the wooden pieces are custom made to fit glass pieces such as cake domes, cheese domes, and other random glass pieces that are salvaged from yard sales and antique malls.
When asked why I turn, “I enjoy taking wood that would be thrown out and revealing its beauty and uniqueness. I consider it a privilege to have others enjoy the pieces as much as I enjoy making them. I still cannot believe it when people love my pieces enough to purchase them.”