Guiding Hand Woodturning
Turned objects of art and practical use
Michael L. Thompson

Michael L. Thompson

Growing up in the mountains of Virginia generated within me a great appreciation of nature. This appreciation led me to pursue a B.S. degree in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech and subsequently to a 31 year career in forestry with the State of  North Carolina.  My career was dedicated to improving the forests in NC and assisting landowners with sound forest management.

Upon retiring in 2003, I took a woodturning class at Alamance Community College. It was in this class that a new passion was born  --- woodturning --- and creating turned objects of art and practical use.

I enjoy exploring the natural beauty found in wood and creating a form that brings out the wood’s natural color and unique grain.  I find it intriguing to turn wood that I have never turned before with its different texture, color and grain pattern. I have a goal of turning every species of wood that grows in North Carolina. I probably will never accomplish that but I will enjoy the journey. So far it is 137 species, native and exotic, and counting.

I utilize mostly wood salvaged from urban settings, house sites and logging sites, giving it new life as a woodturning. These turnings include bowls, vases, ink pens, ornaments, bottle stoppers, lidded boxes, candlesticks, potpourri containers, flower arrangers, ring holders, game calls and more.


American Association of Woodturners

Piedmont Triad Woodturners Association

Chatham Artist Guild


Chatham County Artist Studio Tour – December  2009-2018, 2020-22.

Arts on the Green at Southern Village, Chapel Hill, NC – May 1, 2010

“Men-In –Trees Exhibition”; Artifex Studio and Gallery; Troy, NC – 2010.

Liquidambar Gallery, featured 3-D artist - September 2011

Hillsborough Arts Council Gallery Show “Traditional Crafts: Past and Present Perspectives” - 2012

Elements Gallery, featured artist - February 2012

The Galloway Ridge Artists Collaboration - 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Fat Cat Artfest - 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Beyond the Bark” - Page-Walker Arts Center Cary NC Sept 27-Nov 9 2017.

Upcoming Shows and Exhibitions

Chatham Artists Studio Tour December 2, 3, 9 and 10, 2023.

Copyright 2010

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