My boyhood hobby has, over the past quarter century, become a passion. It is also a period during which woodturning had established itself fully as a serious craft art. Turners such as Bert Marsh, David Ellsworth, Richard Raffan, John Jordan, Mike Schuler, and others had set extraordinary technical and aesthetic standards.
My response to the challenges was to emulate, but also to attempt technically distinctive work (he has moved well beyond his original Sears lathe) and to establish my own design sense. I would be the first to acknowledge his indebtedness to many fine woodturners, including Lane Philips of Provo, Utah. But I also takes pride in the fact that his work has previously appeared in the craft art galleries where woodturning is particularly featured, including the del Mano Gallery (Los Angeles), the Snyderman Gallery (Philadelphia), and the Northwest Gallery of Fine Woodworking(Seattle). After an absence from woodturning of six years because of medical challenges, I returned to woodturning and—prior to the Covid-19 crisis—continued to place my work in fine galleries, and have participated in carefully juried woodturning shows.
One feature of my woodturning is unique: all profits I receives, from all sales, are donated to humanitarian relief organizations working in greater Sudan, an attempt to help alleviate terrible deprivation and suffering in this ravaged land.
For almost 20 years, in addition to professional and family responsibilities, and a grim battle with leukemia, I have worked as a researcher, analyst and advocate for a country that has known nothing but war for nearly the entirety of its half century of existence. I have published and lectured quite widely, nationally and internationally, and on several occasions have testified before Congress (see www.sudanreeves.org/).
Where the Woodturning Profits Go
My primary humanitarian undertaking at present is to provide psycho-social treatment for the girls and women of Darfur who have been the victims of savage, ethnically-target sexual violence over the past 17 years. The project, described on the "blog" page of this site, grows out of substantial research on this grim subject, and there are now sixteen trained midwives in Zamzam camp who are providing the only dedicated psycho-social services for rape and sexual violence anywhere in Darfur. (Also see "blog" page for updates on work to date.) An additional ten girls are working with the counselors as volunteers.
In recent years, as the aftermath of the genocidal destruction in Darfur has drifted from international attention, several humanitarian organizations have kept a strong and critical footprint in the region, serving in complementary fashion. Oxfam America (Boston) and the International Medical Corps (Los Angeles) are now doing the work I think is most important in the region, and they are the two primary recipients of all woodturning profits realized.