Cal Vander Kooi - Wood Turning
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Cal Vander Kooi was born in Worthington, Minnesota. Raised on a dairy farm, and always worked with his hands. He was a collision repair technician for 46 years. This choice of career made excellent use of his propensity for perfection and hands-on skills. For Christmas 2009 he received tools and equipment to begin turning wood. He was inspired by his brother-in-law, who had taken a woodturning class in Colorado. On seeing some of his early work, a close friend told him that he would never look at a piece of wood the same way again. What used to be firewood is now a piece of raw material, just waiting to be turned. He views each piece as an individual. Pieces of wood will just sit in his workshop for days, or even weeks, before he decides what should be made from them. Each piece is one of a kind. Even when he makes a set of something, such as wine goblets, they are never an exact match. The peculiarities of the wood and the fact that he works without a pattern makes each piece ever so slightly different and beautiful in its own remarkable way.