Deer Isle, ME
A Deer Isle native and proud father, Chris Joyce is a self-taught wood turner whose wooden works combine captivating design with skilled craftsmanship.
“Wood is the medium that has always held my fascination–ever since childhood when I would save scraps from my dad’s carpentry jobs to make little wooden boats. Now I spend whatever precious hours I can turning wood in my shop. The woods I use come from my backyard and the world all over. I love to find a new species and to learn all of its character through the process of creating a turned container. I hope the viewer of these works gets to experience a little of each piece of the wood’s unique nature.”
From self-made toy boats for the seashore to a high school shop program, Chris worked his way toward formal training under the instruction of his first mentor, Dennis Saindon. After graduation, he pursued an education in the electrical field while continuing his fascination with woodworking as a hobby. He discovered Fine Woodworking Magazine and became acquainted with the American Association of Woodturners. From this connection he received an opportunity to buy a Shopsmith lathe-based multi-tool, a critical instrument that came into play after he came across his first wood burl. Inspired by the things he was seeing in print, he began turning pieces of the burl into small objects. Soon thereafter, a friend inquired about selling some of his pieces in her small shop. “And Boom 40 years have slid by and I’ve made and sold literally thousands of small boxes, been in numerous exhibitions and have work in collections from Maine to Japan.”
Chris now focuses his practice on Rose Engine woodturning, a centuries old concept with a unique history and complex function. His pieces are first formed on a traditional lathe and switched to the Rose Engine to cut patterns and textures. This specialized machine is a geometric lathe that rocks and slides to create spirograph-like patterns on the surface, known as Guilloché, as the wood is turned. Fueled by the innovation of the machine itself, as well as the enthusiasm of fellow woodworkers who share his love for the Rose Engine, Chris finds no shortage of inspiration for his work. He is always eager to learn new materials and techniques with a primary motivation to explore the beauty and workability of wood.