Fred Williamson is a wood-turner, who works with wet, or 'green' wood that he selects and cuts, often from fallen trees near his shop outside of Crozet Virginia. Influenced by Hopi and Navajo pottery, he turned more and more wooden bowls, enjoying the quick results and freedom of design that came with it. Mostly he enjoys working alone.
"If I'm an expert now, it's because I've made most of the mistakes there are to make. I rebuilt and rebuilt my lathe, making it larger, heavier, stronger, and going to a variable-speed motor. Sometime around 1996 I decided to do only bowls. I get a great deal of satisfaction from using all local and native woods, from staying close to home, and from creating objects of beauty out of rough materials."
Cut cleanly, polished smooth, dried to a stabilized state, and given a hand-rubbed finish, the thin arcs of wood display the character and history of each tree, bringing out the inherent beauty of figure and grain. Highly sought after, many pieces are meant to serve as functional salad bowls, while others are created simply for their artistic presence.