October Featured Artist: Mike Abney

Posted on | Monday, October 3, 2011 | No Comments

Wood turner Mike Abney showing in the special exhibit room for the entire month of October. 

Artist reception is Friday, 
October 14, 6-8pm.

Wood Turning

Many who know Mike Abney are aware of his talent for turning wood.  His knowledge of the medium with which he creates comes from a life long working experience of cutting timber.  He literally knows wood inside and out.  Mike sees the beauty of the grains and burls and exposes them to view in wonderful forms and shapes as he works his lathe.
What isn’t as well known about this artisan in wood, is that he has been challenged his entire life by dyslexia and was unable to read until the changing moment in his life when he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.  As a result, new opportunities were opened to him.  He still rejoices remembering the first Bible verse he was able to read: 
Preserve me, O God; for in you I put my trust.  Psalm 16:1
Mike’s opportunity to start turning wood came with the lathe which was given to him by a fellow church member and with  his knowledge that the knots he formerly cut off timber logs, were hiding beautiful, gnarled grains.  He has also relied on homemade tools to be able to create some of his unusual forms.  One of which was made with a 12-gauge shotgun barrel  filled with buckshot mounted on a 22 rifle barrel.  This he uses to hold and guide the wood as it is being turned.

The Abneys’ home gallery is filled with pieces made from woods as varied as apricot, eucalyptus, curly maple, sycamore and beech.  He has worked with exotic woods such as Tree of Paradise or unusual like Osage Orange.  Mike likes to use wood that he has seasoned himself.  He often uses knots, burls, spalted woods and crotch pieces to create his unique forms.

Mike has displayed his work at many of Indiana’s festivals and juried art shows.  His “Termite Vase” was selected as part of the permanent art collection at Ivy Technical College in Lafayette.  In 2004, Mike was awarded Crawfordsville Art League’s Merit Award and in 2009, the Athens Award during Crawfordsville Art League’s  Downtown Art Exhibit.  His lathe-turned pieces can be found in homes and business throughout the United States.  World wide, his creations have traveled to England, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Tibet and Ukraine.  Mike enjoys sharing information about his work and welcomes personalized commissions upon request.  

For all of his accomplishments and more, Mike gives all the glory to the Lord.


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