While Michigan wood turner, Peter Skellenger, is rather new on the scene, he has a sage’s eye for seeing potential beauty in what most of us would consider a useless piece of dead timber.

“There are trees being cut down all the time because they’ve outgrown their location or the land is being cleared for new construction,” says Peter. “In addition, there are trees that topple due to high winds, old age, porcupine damage, disease – you name it! I reclaim as much of this timber as I can from landfills and local forests. The more twisted and nasty the wood is, the more beautiful the finished product will usually be.”

Peter transforms these reclaimed woods into extraordinary works of art. Because he has such a good understanding of what lies beneath the surface and because he is so skillful in releasing this beauty, his stunning work continues to gain attention. Each example is a study of movement, time, and nature.

Peter obtained his B.A. in Biomedical Science from Western Michigan University where he was the recipient of the prestigious Monroe-Brown Research Award for his research in Neuroscience. Following graduation he applied to graduate school and while waiting for acceptance he began his journey with wood turning in an attempt to keep himself busy. He quickly fell in love with the craft and found himself absorbed in the science and process of the art. He is completely self-taught via books and trial and error.

Recently, Peter was accepted into the accelerated nursing program Northern Michigan University where he will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and plans to specialize in anesthesia. He considers himself extremely lucky to have found a passion in wood turning, as sales of his collectible work are now paying his way through college.

Peter participates in juried and invitational art shows in his home state of Michigan and throughout the Midwest. Check back often to view upcoming works, show dates, and all things woodturning!