Metamorphosis: Ron Layport’s Carved Vessels
Ron Layport spent 40 years in the advertising business in Pittsburgh. As head of his own company, his days were long and packed with pressure. When he finally got home, he would head for his woodshop–a place of peace and focus, he says–and work there well into the night.
For many years Layport was absorbed with furniture making. In 1991, his handsome open hutch was on the cover of Fine Woodworking issue #89. Soon afterward, wanting to make round legs for tables, he took a weekend turning workshop. The tutorial, as it happened, was with David Ellsworth, the highly-regarded vessel turner. Layport turned a bowl that weekend, bought himself a lathe, and never looked back. His late-night focus shifted for good from furniture making to vessel turning.
In 2000, he sold his advertising business and became a full-time woodturner. Working purely by trial and error, he began carving his turned vessels, using repeating animal imagery and radical through-carving to develop the distinctive style that characterizes his work today. This audio slideshow presents dozens of Layport’s pieces and features his descriptions of the process he uses and the path he’s taken in the field.
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