Bruce Jones, of Pleasant Valley, is a woodworker as well as a painter. He started making art in grade school, enjoying 2-D and 3-D art in junior and senior high school.
“I attended High Point High School in Prince George’s County and was lucky to have Rufus Jacoby, a well-known silversmith and woodworker, as a teacher,” Jones said. “Some of his art by him is in the Smithsonian. He taught me how to do the lost wax method. Lost wax method is when you carve an object out of wax to make a mold and then cover with a plaster-type material. When it is heated, the wax leaves the mold, so silver or other metal can be poured into it. “
Jacoby also taught Jones to raise sheets of copper. Raising means to hammer flat sheets of metal into a hollow form. Additional designs can be added by soldering on decorations.
When Jones was a senior in high school, he took six art classes. Since Jacoby was no longer teaching at High Point, Jones became an art class assistant. He knew Jacoby’s techniques from him and his new teacher from him did not.
Jones became an engraver after he graduated from high school. He engraved metal for wedding invitations. Then he had an accident and was in a cast for two years.
After his recovery, Jones went into manufacturing high-end acrylic furniture for the prestigious Jeffrey Bigelow furniture company. He cut, shaped and bent acrylic/plexiglass to make tables from quarter-inch thick to 6-inch materials. They used ovens to bend the acrylic.
When he worked for an acrylic furniture company, he used its scrap materials to make fine art sculptures by incorporating color into the glue seams making shapes.
After a year and a half, Jones went to another company to make more money and showed its owners how to do this process. He ran the company with 20 employees. Since the company had high-end outlets all over the United States, his sculptures by him sold with the acrylic furniture for high prices. Supposedly, Michael Jackson bought a piece.
When Jones got married, he became a cabinet maker and got into a union shop making wood furniture. I have learned a lot of processes. Jones did n’t make as much art while raising his family from him. When his wife passed away, Jones raised his children alone and art was not a priority.
In 2012, Jones started making art again and began with acrylic paintings. Jones paints scenery using photographs as inspiration. He makes his own large canvases because they are so expensive.
Since Jones liked woodworking, he bought a lathe and started turning wood.
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“I got a good deal on a lot of exotic woods, including teak, mahogany, sapele, curly maple and different types of oak to use for his artistic turnings,” Jone said.
Even the people on the website are impressed by the things he has produced.
Jones is known worldwide and is the featured artist for February for the World of Woodturners.
Jones makes fancy bowls and then hand-carves designs on them. He also carves other shapes and adds paint and gilding to them.
Jones, who moved to Carroll County in 2015, aspires to have a show of his work and to locate markets. Most of his work by him sells online on Facebook. He also sells on 20 woodworking sites. Locally, he has sold his wood turnings at Memory Lane in Taneytown and the Woman’s Club Show at the Non-Profit Center in Westminster.
Jones can be contacted at Serenity Artisans. His email from him is [email protected]
Lyndi McNulty is the owner of Gizmo’s Art in Westminster. Her column, An Eye for Art, appears regularly in Life & Times.