Forewarned that it could become addictive, in 2008 Johnny Green decided to give wood turning a try as a semi-retirement hobby. With the arrival of a high quality lathe, wood turning quickly became a passion. Four years and hundreds of bowls and hollow forms later, he began to evolve a method to turn much larger pieces and bore to deeper depths. He eventually figured out ways to overcome the limitations associated with poor-structural-strength wood, and grossly out-of-balance work pieces. In some instances two lathes are required to handle the weight and size of the raw work pieces. Significant “wood shed” upgrades were added to handle larger pieces: two overhead cranes, long custom boring bars, powered rotary cutters and specialty positioning equipment. These allow Johnny to make large, but very unique and usual pieces. “It can't be done” only motivates him.
His strong mechanical and engineering background helped him develop an uncanny ability to find and reveal the amazing beauty that nature has hidden within a piece of wood. It took years, and much encouragement from friends and several well-known professionals, for him to realize that the quality and style of his work was unique and desirable. The first showing of his work at a national event convinced him that he should market his work. It is with great pleasure that the work in the Gallery is presented for your enjoyment.
Johnny Green may be the most unlikely individual ever be associated with making anything artistic. His entire adult life has been centered on mining sand, river gravel and rock, the primary ingredients of asphalt and concrete. For more than 25 years, Johnny was president of the family business, Standard Gravel Co. Inc., an over 80 year-old mining business. Construction aggregate mining is a world of bull dozers, backhoes, and floating hydraulic dredges, all used to excavate and process millions of tons of dirt, sand, gravel and rock annually. Johnny has designed and built numerous specialty pieces of dredging equipment for both the family business and third party users. He has traveled the globe consulting and troubleshooting problems encountered by the mining industry, from gold mines in New Zealand and oil sand mines in northern Canada, to beach erosion projects in Dubai, South Africa and Australia. He's worked mines in all 50 states. He is co-holder of two patents related to removing and cleaning oil coated sand from storage tanks.
When questioned about why some of his machinery designs have an unusual appearance, his reply is that in good design, form follows function. He has observed that rocks don’t seem to care what the machinery looks like and neither does he. One might stop and ponder how he manages to co-exist in two distinctly different cultures, one based on factual engineering and documented performance, the other based on ever changing individual personal opinion. Johnny’s response is simple. “When I’m in the wood shed, it’s me, my unrestrained ideas, the wood and no telephone. Life is good.”
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