During the 50s and 60s, George French was one of those kids who was always playing with the scraps in the woodbin in his father’s basement shop. When he was 10, his parents gave him an electric drill and an electric jigsaw for Christmas, and he began learning to work with wood. Years later, in 1971, he graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, but his job search ended a year later with a carpenter position for a residential home builder. He perfected his carpentry craft and taught himself fine woodworking and cabinet making. In 1982, he started his own cabinet shop in Baltimore, MD, and the company evolved into a modern cabinet shop with most of the projects in healthcare. After 32 years, George retired and sold his business to a long-time employee.
After retiring, George went back to woodworking in his basement shop and began to explore the art of woodturning. Woodturning is the process of mounting a piece of wood on a lathe and then turning the wood while using chisels to shape and hollow the piece. George joined the American Association of Woodturners and their local chapter, Chesapeake Woodturners, in Annapolis, MD.
George enjoys the moment in woodworking when you finally get to see the true luster of the wood you’re working with, when all the sanding scratches and tool marks have been removed, and only the fine detail of the grain is visible. That “true luster” moment can take weeks or months to reach with fine woodworking, but woodturning can reach that moment in a matter of days, so George began to concentrate on woodturning only. He likes to work with woods with the best visual qualities, the best grain, the nicest color, and the boldest figure. George likes to turn green wood that he finds locally, and he also enjoys working with exotic woods from local dealers. George gets his inspiration for new pieces from the woodturning shows he attends and from the many images he sees around him.