How It's Made

Segmented & Solid Wood-Turnings

With the goal to create work that is wondrous and pleasing to view, each piece is made by hand, one at a time, using the often laborious process of wood turning.  


With wood turnings, John uses one or more machines and cutting tools to design the shape and form of a wooden piece, while the piece is rotating, often at very fast speeds.  


In solid turnings, John creates straight lines, curves, or angled lines removing the excess from the wood blank piece.  The wood blank unique features define its shape and proportions. John’s role is primarily to execute the process of transforming the wood blank into a vessel that defines it best. 


In segmented turnings, John applies geometry and more complex engineering and design skills as he assembles pieces of wood together after they have been previously cut and shaped using a variety of techniques. These pieces require the geometries to be precise and often involve hundreds or thousands of pieces and months of work.


The most common tools used at Silva Studio are the table saw, clamps, lathe, band saw and finishes.


For John, sometimes it all starts with a piece of a newly fallen tree that is roughed out with a chainsaw, refined on the lathe, seasoned and painstakingly finished to a high luster. Other times the process begins as a segmented idea that starts at the drafting board, continues to the table saw and eventually ends up on the lathe.  

Accentuating the Unique Beauty of Wood

“In my solid turning I strive to bring out the natural beauty in the wood. Here I like imperfection in the raw material that yields a unique finished product.  In my segmented pieces it is all about the unique interaction of each individual piece of wood to its neighbors.”

 —John Snyder, Silva Studio Woodworking Artist