From farm life, he transitioned to college where he attended Purdue with the goal of becoming a pilot. However, that was not in the cards because he found out he was color blind. Sooo, he opted for a degree in Aviation Technology. That led to him becoming an aviation mechanic for a charter air business. After 7 years in this position, he felt he had no room for advancement so he left Indiana to come to Columbus where he began work as an IT infrastructure engineer. Since then, he has worked for BMW Financial, Chase and, currently, Value City. He says he has changed jobs about every 5 years for a number of reasons including advancement, salary, etc.
Having grown up on a farm, he was used to physical activity and his jobs really didn’t provide a level that he was comfortable with. So, he looked for a hobby that would provide this…first, he chose working with clay and signed up for a class. Guess that wasn’t meant to be either as the class was cancelled! Step in his dad…he encouraged Devon to join him in wood turning and Devon took him up on it. A great opportunity to bond with his dad and a love of the art blossomed. He has been at it now since 2004!
For form and shape, I take cues from living things. While I like modern/minimalist/bauhaus style, I like common imperfections in wood – knots, twisted grain, cracks, stain. For me, our self perceived imperfections are what make us “interesting” and individual. I try to highlight these in my work where appropriate, creating natural, organic curves. I try to contrast smooth curves with the rough texture of bark and other features when I can.
According to him, wood turning can be a very slow process that starts with harvesting wood, roughing out a general shape and then letting that green wood dry and cure for 1-5 years! He maintains a cache of 300-400 bowls that are in the process of drying. During a busy year, he can go through 6000 or more pounds of wood!!! Yikes! AND when he talks about all of this, he lights up…you can just see the passion he has for his craft. You can also see it in the pieces that he makes.
Teaching is also a passion of his; it’s a big part of how he supports his art. He feels deeply committed to sharing his knowledge and advancing wood turning as an art form. As Industrial Arts are no longer part of the core curriculum in schools, he believes that it is up to the craftspeople to keep these skills alive.
Somewhere down the line, after shoring up his retirement fund, he would like to become an independent IT consultant so that he has the freedom to NOT work a 60 hour week and work for himself. Of course, his wood turning will be an integral part of this.