Chris Eggers has lived in Southern Arizona since 1960 and has been involved in the fine crafts since 1975. While stationed at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona he learned metalsmithing at the fort's well-equipped craft shop. After his enlistment he used his VA educational benefits to attend college in 1976, majoring in Fine Metalsmithing. Shortly after graduation he discovered the wood turning world and the beautiful woods available around Tucson. Since that time he has also learned the pleasures of working in glass.
For the past few years his interests have been focused on wood turning. The woods he uses come mostly from illegal dumps in the desert or from trees washed down in the local washes. Both enable him to contribute to the cleanup of our desert while creating captivating turned objects.
I primarily use tree stumps for my illuminated sculptures. Stumps are the heart of the tree, twisting in several directions with holes and knots. The heart and sapwood are mixed following the roots and trunks in their growth. Stumps are part of the tree that few have a use for which makes them readily available and overlooked "Diamonds in the rough".
Traditional turning instruction warns against using wood with imperfections because of the risks of harm or failure. I use tools and processes not normally associated with wood turning to overcome these challenges.
There are other areas of a tree that are also desirable for my style of turning. The union where two or more branches or trunks join is called a crotch. This area, when turned perpendicular to the trees growth, offers beautifully grain patterns and usually a single void. Damaged areas of a tree also provide unique turnings.
The effort of harmonizing the woods imperfections with a complimenting shape creates a sui generis piece. The contrast between the finished piece and the natural imperfections reflect the desert's contrast between its severe environment and the allure of the wild flowers in spring.