Johan Labuschagne

My Woodturning Philosophy

As a botanist/horticulturist and with a deep appreciation of nature, my love of plants and particularly the many wonderful trees of my country play a major role in my views towards my woodturning. In that respect, I am somewhat of a purist in my approach and attempt to let the wood do the talking instead of colouring and over embellishing my work. The true nature and feel of turned wood, to my mind, should never be compromised and mistaken for plastic, porcelain or the like. I do however respect the views of other turners that differ from mine. To me, wood has a soul and tells the story of growth of a living being, sometimes over many decades, depicting hardship in storms, droughts, the onslaught of borers and even fires. Therefore I do not always try to hide irregularities and often include features such as knots, cracks and borer holes as part of my designs. My pieces should pay tribute to the once beautiful trees that cleansed our air and helped to make animal life on earth possible. Shape, balance and form are paramount to me, whether pieces are bulky or elegantly frail, and I strive to let each piece impart a feeling of floating just above the surface.