Featured Turner: Yuval Lahav… In his own words. Yuval Lahav shares insights to his woodturning methods and inspirations.
ABOUT YUVAL LAHAV
Full Name: Yuval Lahav
Year of Birth: 1977
Place of Birth: Beer Sheva
Where do you currently live: Italy
What is, or was, your main job: Web and mobile multi players games programmer, front and back end.
What would be your dream job: A pilot
Other than woodturning, do you have any other notable hobbies: Scuba diving, hang gliding (both out of practice), snowboarding and having kids.
ABOUT YOUR TURNING
Are you a professional turner, hobby turner or something else: Hobby, more of a weekend turner, although by twists of life I have more time to turn over the week than the weekend.
When did you begin turning, and why:I started turning on August of 2012, and a year before I’ve seen a video of a guy turning a lamp shade out of a log, and I thought to myself that it was something I had to learn how to do. For a year I consumed every turning video I could find, and bought a very (VERY) cheap lathe to start with (which is why I don’t discourage people from buying cheap lathes, you’ve got to start somewhere).
Are you a member of a turning club and if so which one: No. Italy, or at least central Italy, is terrible for turners. There is nothing for us here, a club that does social gatherings at best, not a single shop for tools or wood.
Who (or what!) has had the greatest influence on your turning: That is difficult to answer, since I’ve learned all I know from Youtube, each of the great teachers there have gave me different bits of information which I compiled into my current knowledge base. I learned to most from Carl Jacobson, but I’m in awe by the artistic turnings and carving of Mark Henry Doolittle.
Who is your favorite woodturner: Cindy Drozda.
Do you have a favorite artist in any other medium than woodturning: Salvador Dalí.
Do you have any formal training that helps your turning (e.g. Art, Design, Photography, Engineering etc):
I’ve been a student and practitioner of art most of my life, be it painting, drawing, sculpturing in clay and more, as the son of an art teacher, and the grandson of an art teacher, and the only child of four who showed artistic tendencies, I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
Do you have any other similar or allied skills: See answer above.
What is the most unusual thing that you have turned: One of my last project was a footed torus bowl, that is by far my most unusual project to date.
What are your favorite three pieces that you have turned: Footed torus bowl, Olive emerging goblet, and spiraled vase.
What is your favorite ‘sphere’ of turning (e.g. Bowls, Platters, Boxes, Pens, Hollow forms etc): I find Hollow forms most enjoyable to work on, but I fear that is because I like adrenalin and things that scare me the most. I thrive when I put myself to a challenge.
Are there any other woodturners (or artists / crafters etc) in your family: Both my mother and grandmother were artists of sorts, my sister makes decorated cakes. 🙂
What has been your biggest disaster: While turning the Christmas ornament for 2014-15 I cut my right index finger almost to the bone on the table saw. It took me a few days to get used to not use the hurt finger, yet it took me almost a month to get myself used to use it once it healed. If we’re talking lathe disaster, I had a ring of wood detach from a plank of wood which I was parting off for an economy bowl, which went on the explode into large and small fragments. Luckily I was away from the line of fire and I wasn’t hit. Should I have been hit, I doubt my face-shield would have stopped any of the fragments.
ABOUT YOUR WORKSHOP
Is your workshop a dedicated space or shared with other activities (i.e. a garage shared with a car): My workshop doubles as my smoking room at night, as I don’t smoke in the house or much, if at all, during the day.
How many lathes do you own: One.
What is the make and model of your main lathe: Fervi 0751. It’s the same Chinese made lathe most hobbies have, but for some reason the Italian version is only ½ horse power where most of these are ¾ horse.
Have you had any previous lathes: Yes. I had a brandless lathe, super simple design, which I found on sale for 90 euros. It is what I got to find out if I would enjoy woodturning. I did.
What is your ‘dream lathe’: I would love to have one of those British made, cast iron, short bed, large bowl turning lathe, I can’t remember their name right now, but everyone knows those. I want to turn large, very large, things. Failing that I really like the Robust line of lathes. I would love a lathe I can turn a delicate finial on, but chuck a 60 cm (two feet) wide log on and turn a drum shell.
Other than your lathe, what is your favorite tool or machine: I love the angle grinder, I always wanted to start carving in logs, but I never find the time. I’m pretty sure I would have said a bandsaw if I had one, but I never did, so I might just be dreaming it’s my second favorite tool.
Is your workshop very tidy, a ‘work in progress’ or a disaster zone: A “work in progress” is a good description. I don’t tidy up while working on something to the point of loosing a kid in the mess. But when I’m done with a project, I reset my shop in a way that will make most people scared to come near me, I vacuum the floor, I set my glues in order like soldiers, every single tool, bolt and container has to go back to its place, or else I can’t start another project.
If you produce YouTube or similar videos, what are your three favourites: See answer to “What are your favorite three pieces that you have turned”.
What is your favourite drink and snack food whilst in the workshop: Lipton green tea lemon iced tea, Romanian pickled hot peppers.
Anything else you would like to say or be known about you and your turning life: I turn because I love it. I don’t seek fame and fortune. If it finds me, I won’t send it away. What I love the most second to turning is being able to teach others.
Many thanks to Yuval for allowing us a look into his life and for sharing his thoughts. Please take the time to peruse his videos and subscribe to his growing YouTube channel.
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