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Peter Lauricella: as the wood turns

Art takes on many forms, from painting to music, dancing to photography and all things in between. One form of art, somewhat unique, is segmented woodturning. Compared to taking a large piece of wood and hollowing it out into a bowl or vase, the art of segmented turning utilizes dozens of small pieces of kindling, glued together, and then finished into a very unique vessel. Right here in North Durham we have such an artist.

Peter Lauricella has been creating this rare form of art for many years, and continues to perfect his craft by constantly developing new techniques and methods. Originally from Boston, Peter and his wife moved to Port Perry to be near their grandchildren. Since their arrival ten years ago, Peter immediately became involved in the Community by spending many hours a week as a hospice volunteer with Durham Hospice.

After spending a few years in the Navy, serving aboard an aircraft carrier, Peter started his career as a kindergarten teacher. After five years, and becoming involved in the design of learning materials, he developed an affinity for working with wood. He began to build cabinets and furniture, and started his own, very successful contracting company.

I asked Peter if he noticed a big difference between Canadians and Americans. “People are people,” he replied. “Canadians however, are much more polite and tend to obey traffic rules.” He smiled. “I must admit,” he added, “The metric system still has me baffled.” When he moved to Canada, Peter purchased a 60 year old lathe to continue his hobby of woodturning.

Along with his sixty year old lathe he now has a collection of power sanders, table saws, band saws and everything else necessary to perfect his art. His workshop allows him to create all year round. “I use oak and maple as a base for most pieces,” Peter explains. “But I usually add exotic woods, such as purple heart and bubinga, both from Africa, as well as lacewood from Australia and angelim pedra from South America.”

Peter teaches his craft at Lee Valley and his work is stunning. He is a participating artist in this year’s Scugog Studio Tour and will be displaying his work at the Utica Hall (the corner of Marsh Hill Road and Goodwood Road, across from the Coach House Studio). You can also get a glimpse of his wood products at