Dragonfly Art Gallery welcomes Barbara L. Piper as December artist of the month

Courtesy Photo The above bowl, made by woodworking artist Barbara L. Piper, are on display at Dragonfly Art Gallery in Harrisville. Piper is the gallery’s December artist of the month.

Barbara L. Piper is December artist of the month at Dragonfly Art Gallery in Harrisville.

Here is some background information in Piper’s own words.

“I’ve been interested in wood and woodworking all my life. I used to watch my father in his little shop and wonder what all the tools were for and marvel at all the things he could make.”

“I’ve been doing various crafts most of my life and my late husband finally agreed to build a workshop for me attached to the house, to keep the sawdust and noise out of the living area.”

“I’ve done woodcarving, making small items, restored wooden carousel figures, but always had an interest in turning. So in my early seventies, I finally decided to take a couple of woodturning lessons and get started.”

“Since a person needs tools, I acquired a large wood lathe and all the tools necessary. I remember the feeling of abject terror as I stood in front of my lathe, tool in hand, and started my first bowl! Since then I have turned many bowls and platters, along with other woodturned items, and have taught a couple of people the basics of the craft. I number and photograph all my pieces, and just finished number 734.”

“Although mostly men take up woodturning, there are more and more women taking up the craft, and they are turning out some spectacular work.

“I keep a lot of my pieces, but do sell items, give them as gifts, and use a lot of them myself in my kitchen and as decorative items.”

“There is one specific item that has kept me interested in doing woodturning all these years, and that was being told, when I was in junior high school, that I couldn’t take woodshop because I ‘was a girl!!’ This is my revenge….”

The gallery, located at 116 E. Main St., Harrisville, is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.