Don McIvor

Woodturner

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That's me on the left at the Parara Puru Embara village in Panama, negotiating for a piece of cocobolo. Photo by Carole McIvor.

I have been working with wood, sometimes professionally and sometimes out of passionate interest, for more than 25 years. Early in my career I worked with Charles McRaven in Virginia on custom homes of either log or post and beam construction. We restored old places and got to work with some terrific material including American chestnut and heart pine--both commercially extinct now. That was also an interesting experience for the connection to the past--both the early history of our nation as well as the craftsman who first worked that wood. I have built furniture and cabinets over the years, and have now been turning since 2003.

My formal training is as a wildlife ecologist. I've conducted research on a range of topics usually involving birds and mountain lions in various parts of the American West. More recently I've focused my efforts on conservation, working as the Science Coordinator for Audubon Washington. On the slightly more artistic side I've also worked as a photographer and writer and have managed to publish quite a bit (including two books), but nonetheless concluded that's a pretty good path to starvation and poverty (unlike woodturning, where there's literally hundreds of dollars to be made). I'm also a musician and have performed on and off over the years.