Object Record

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Artist Johnson, C.R. "Skip"
Title The Itinerant Turner's Toolbox
Date 1981
Home Location Mezz., Collection Area - east wall
Material Mahogany, basswood, walnut, padauk, honey locust, full scale tools
Height (in) 42.375
Width (in) 26
Depth (in) 7.75
Dimension Details Dimensions are for case open
Credit line The Center for Art in Wood Museum Collection, Donated by the Artist
Accession Number 1995.01.01.103G
Object ID Number 1995.01.01.103
Object Number OBJ 124
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Sig Loc Unsigned
Notes Exhibited in Wood Turning in North America Since 1930 (2001-2002)

C.R. "Skip" Johnson imagines the life of a fictitious itinerant turner. He creates a traveling toolbox/workshop to be hung above the lathe. It includes all the necessary turning tooks and a source of liquid refreshment- a key with a pipe fitting to allow the turner to drink uninterrupted during his work. Johnson is a retired professor of woodworking, now enjoying full-time woodworking.

Glenn Adamson with Albert LeCoff
Here C.R. "Skip" Johnson, a furniture maker by training, reflects humorously on the history of the turning craft. This toolbox is a creative interpretation of the gear of an itinerant turner of the early 1800's, who made his living with nothing but a horse and wagon, his tools, and a lathe. All of the objects in the box are fashioned in wood, including gouges, scrapers, chucks, calipers, spare lathe parts, and even slip stones for sharpening tool edges. Knowing that, like the lathe, the craftsman gets hot while working, Johnson also provided an easy method for turners to refresh themselves without having to stop turning. The tool box is meant to hang conveniently above the lathe. A tube extends from the keg in the top of the box to a nipple which projects from the front; the flow of fluid is activated by pressing one's cheek against a round lever nearby.
Sub-category Art