Turning wood stumps into works of art is one of the things I really wish I would get around to learning. So when I saw Joe Wujcik's work I had to stop and check it all out.

Joseph Wujcik began his love for woodworking building tree forts and wood log furniture for his family’s cabin in Northern Minnesota. His skills were nurtured in 7th grade shop where he took woodworking instead of Spanish to learn how to make furniture. His favorite class at that time was woodturning where he made his first four woodturned items—two fishing bobbers, a mallet and a small plate for his Mom, which she still has displayed in her home today. His fondest memory of woodworking was making a serving cart with turned wheels.

Woodworking and turning were set aside when Joe went to the University of Minnesota to get an Engineering degree in Mineral Processing. Woodworking was always important to him and it wasn’t long before he started a small custom furniture making business in his basement shop. Several years passed making furniture, but as his furniture business grew, so did his career in mine management. His success kept him away from woodworking for 15 years.

Knowing that Joe wanted to start woodturning again, Joe’s most-excellent wife, Linda, bought him a lathe for Christmas in 1994. Many nights and weekends were spent in the shop trying different ideas and learning the art of Woodturning. As he practiced, some truly great forms began to happen. His love for woodturning grew daily as his artistic skills increased.

A relocation to Southern California in April 1995 slowed down Joe’s turning but not his creative spirit. During this transition period, notebooks were filled with numerous ideas for woodturned bowls, plates and vases. He also developed plans for a homemade lathe which would be able to handle 30 inch diameter objects. He completed this project during a summer vacation in 1995.

Several classes and woodturning seminars were also taken by Joe during this time, and they turned out to be the key which opened up Joe’s hidden talent. After learning some finishing techniques, his woodturning results reached Gallery quality levels.

Now-a-days, when Joe isn’t eating or sleeping, he is in his shop/studio creating new pieces. He is constantly searching for interesting shapes to try with wood and is willing to experiment with stone and metal inlay to create unique pieces. Joe prides himself on being a fast learner and tries to see the true form inside the wood before he begins to turn it. He talks to every piece and the wood responds with beautiful woodturned Art.