Alan Dorsey in his Brooklyn woodshop with the bowl he made in front of our lens (Nikon D610)
Gift Maker:Alan Dorsey Inspired Gift: Hand-made wooden bowls Nikon Camera: The D610, the D800 and the COOLPIX A captured the wood shavings flying as Alan shaped his bowl.
This holiday season, Nikon teamed up with Apartment Therapy to post the stories of three makers from our community. We hope showing how these people create handmade holiday gifts will inspire your own creativity. Our photographer Gabriela Herman will help us capture their stories brilliantly.
Even if you’ve never done it yourself, it is easy to imagine what wood carving looks like. We can see — in our mind's eye — the process of using a blade to trim away wood to create something new. But until we got to visit Alan Dorsey’s wood shop, we couldn’t imagine what each moment in the process would really look like.
"The material itself inspires me. Getting the material into my shop and my hands makes me want to see what is inside." (Nikon D800)
Alan explained it to us this way:
“The act of turning is essentially wood carving, but with the addition of speed. A carver removes material a little bit at a time to achieve the desired shape but with turning the wood is a spinning blur that is shaped by my chisel rather like a potter throwing clay on a wheel. “
Nikon cameras allowed photographer Gabriela Herman to capture the action, even while the woodchips were flying.
When Alan gives a bowl he has created, he says he isn’t just giving the bowl itself. He is giving his time and of himself. Alan thinks about the recipient as he turns a bowl for them.
Alan's studio still has many of its original 19th century windows (Nikon COOLPIX A)
Surprisingly Alan doesn’t have a hard time finding logs in New York City, often from trees felled during storms. Finding room to store all that wood in his Brooklyn shop can be tough, but the wood itself is also his biggest inspiration. Alan says, “A log, like an oyster, isn’t necessarily pretty on the outside, but beautiful treasure may be found within."
What moments do you want to capture this season?
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Inspired Giving series, sponsored by Nikon.
More posts in this series
Inspired Giving: Handmade Holidays, Sponsored by Nikon