In the Spotlight with Terra Brantley (Thomas Braun, Wood Turner)

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 1:16 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Step inside the Orchard Gallery off of Covington Road, and striking wood turners will catch your eye. They’re the creations of Thomas Braun — and his work is ‘in the spotlight’ this week.

“I actually got an apprenticeship in the pattern trade in high school and I worked in the pattern trade for about 50 years,” Braun told WBOI’s Terra Brantley. “It didn’t deal with this type of turning… but in 2007, I bought my lathe and got started.” For 15 years, he’s been perfecting his craft — using any and all types of wood, though Maple remains his favorite.

Flawless bowls, vases, plates, cups, and other designs are currently on display in the gallery through the end of the month. It’s a very humbling opportunity for Braun, who doesn’t normally turn a buck from his work. “I really don’t turn to sell — I mostly give it away,” he explained. “Occasionally someone will want to buy something, but mostly my kids’ houses are full of turnings. I think they get tired of them but I just keep turning.”

Much of what he’s learned, has been through a Huntertown club called Chiselers and Turners, the internet, and books. Following retirement, the talented pattern maker is learning to accept his new title. “I used to call it my shop, but my daughter calls it a studio now,” he laughed. “She says I’m an artist and it should be called a studio.”

Thomas Braun’s works will be on display at the Orchard gallery through September 30. You can find more information about the shop here.