fell on the limestone gates at T.C. Steele State Historic Site, he was one of the artists who used the wood. He created wood pieces that are for sale at the site’s gift shop. On occasion, Max also crafts one-ofa-kind pieces for friends and family using fallen trees that are special to them. “Some dear friends from high school had an apple tree come down, so I made things for their kids from it. Now the kids and grandkids can enjoy a piece from that tree.” Max lives on a wooded property and still sometimes uses wood from his own yard. He also relies on trees from suppliers in surrounding counties. And every once in a while, he can’t resist picking up exotic woods while traveling. He and his wife, Marie, recently visited their son, Wes, who is married and lives in
20 • Homes & Lifestyles of South-Central Indiana • December 2017
Australia. Max came back to the states with a batch of wood that weighed more than his adult daughter, Zoe. “Where else can you get mango wood?” Max chuckles. He says his kids aren’t exactly woodworkers, but Wes is very handy with his hands and Zoe has an eye for design. Both Marie and Zoe often make helpful observations that inspire and further Max’s projects. In addition to his long career in woodworking, Max continues to teach—but now he does it from behind his lathe in educational demonstrations at WonderLab and local galleries. Attendees not only see how he shapes wood, but learn how wood has shaped the history of America and the world.
He educates his listeners about the importance of treenware, centuries-old handmade objects that were a part of early human civilization. He explains that the lathe is one of the oldest pieces of woodworking equipment in the world. Items made on lathes have been unearthed during excavations of ancient Egyptian sites. Max always enjoys seeing people gain a new appreciation for the art of turning. “Kids are in awe and adults remember working on a lathe in middle or high school. We’re all big kids when we stand behind a lathe.” See more of Max’s art at The Venue in Bloomington and the Hoosier Artist Gallery in Nashville, or visit bloomingtonarts.org/wood.