Retiring in Style
Larry Genender says, "Retiring from something isn't nearly as great as retiring to something."
Larry is a surgeon who worked 14 hour days for many years. He retired at 65 and was looking for something to do. One day his wife saw a garden bench she liked and Larry thought, “I can make one of those.”
That thought eventually morphed into building a woodshop where creating with wood became a passion! He got a lathe and learned how to use it. He took a lot of instruction, including going to seminars around the country. One of those seminars was taught by David Ellsworth, who is one of the most famous wood turners in the country. He spent three days in Pennsylvania learning from this master.
I have seen his work, and it reminds me a lot of Dale Chihuly’s glass—only in wood! The first image you see below is a bowl (unlighted), which is beautiful. In the second image, the lights around the same bowl have been turned off and a single spot light is shining inside. This piece is translucent because it has been soaked in Danish oil. It takes three months to make one of these. The lighted version is called a “vessel of fire”.
Larry won first place in the State Fair with this piece. He found an old piece of wood that had been lying in someone’s barn for years. It was 22 inches in diameter. A lot of the bark had come off, so he had to learn how to recreate it. He used super glue and mesquite bark fragments to replace the missing edges.
When he started out with this creation he had to work around a defect in the wood. The piece evolved into a flat tray with a footed stand.
This piece has an interesting history. It was very thin and he was buffing on a high speed buffer. It flew out of his hands and broke into 4 pieces and he thought it was lost. Then one day he was shopping with his wife and she was looking at a Coach purse that had lacing. He bought a book on lacing and what you see below is the result!
Larry never sells his work, but sometimes he does give it to family and friends. Now there is a precious gift! To see more of his work go to:
He told me that, "The wood leads you, the piece evolves and the art appears!"
A special thank you to Larry Gerender for sharing with our blog!