Out of Africa & True Love 3 (2006)
African Blackwood & Pink Ivory wood
3″ dia x 3.5″ & 2.75″ x 3″

 The first piece in the series was made in 2005. The form is feminine, warm in colour and heart-shaped, so it was named True Love:

True Love (2005)
Pink Ivory wood
2.75” dia x 3.25”

True Love 3 ended up in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. A large 4’ x 6’ banner of this piece was displayed outside the museum for three years. The banner came to me, but unfortunately there is nowhere in my house I can hang it!


I made a number of variations on this heart theme, including

  • Heart of Darkness which was thick, rough, angry, and pierced with a spear, named after Joseph Conrad’s tale of murder in the Congo
  • Wooden Heart, with a pearl-studded collar and an image of Elvis on the front
  • Heart of Hearts/Mother-Daughter (see Gallery 3)
  • Elizabethan Lace (see Gallery 3)
  • I Love Yew & I Love Yew Two (see Gallery 2)
  • Heart of Gold and Femininity (see Gallery 3)


  • Heart of Gold (above) was featured on the cover of the 2006 DVD of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky, and was selected for the Instant Gallery critique by Betty Scarpino, Hans Weissflog and Steve Loar. A short video clip of their comments on it, plus their comments on Femininity, may be seen here:

  • Heart of Stone (see Gallery 3). This piece was originally going to be “Heart of Africa”, until I started to hollow it out. What I found was an internal sapwood tube extending from the small sapwood triangle near the top, right down through the base of the piece, all completely hidden by an overgrowth of black heartwood. The tube was filled with grit and stone, which blunted the hollowing tool instantly. The hollowing was a 6-hour fight and exercise in masochism. I even tried taking it off the lathe and attacking it with a ruby burr (killed the burr) and then a diamond ball (too slow). Finally put it back on the lathe and resorted to brute force. Did get rid of all the rocks. The sapwood triangle was incorporated into the design, and a hole immediately below it filled with blackwood dust. In accord with the title I did think of filling the bottom of the piece with cement, but decided I liked it the way it is – this irregularity is part of the history of this particular piece of wood. Who says natural edges have to be at the top only?

Return to Gallery 1