It was the gallery of vase images that stopped me in my tracks. And then the bowls and platters. I can imagine the smoothness of the pieces, the heft of the platter, the look of a vase spilling over with Carolina wildflowers. I want one of these beauties for my very own.
North Carolina native Steve Noggle worked in the lumber industry after completing a Forestry degree at LSU in 1976, creating fine furniture as a sideline, and eventually spending 25 years as an engineer in the furniture industry.
It was the discovery of woodturning that fueled what became a passion and led to his work as a craftsman in his hometown of Morganton, NC.
His wood comes from hardwoods located on the family farm in Burke County, as well as from the Morganton area and surrounding counties. Loggers and tree removal companies supply most of his wood. “My favorite local wood is ambrosia maple,” he shared.*
Other favorites include cherry and walnut; however, he’ll occasionally use dogwood, mulberry, locust or ash. Each piece is carved on a spinning lathe – becoming “satin to the touch and pleasing to the eye.”
His workshop is an old depression-era store that was used by his family to sell produce in the 30s and 40s.
His magnificent creations are available in the following Carolina galleries: Ariel Gallery, Asheville; Twigs and Leaves, Waynesville; New Morning Gallery, Asheville; Red Wolf Gallery, Brevard; and the Southern Highland galleries in Blowing Rock and Asheville.
Mr. Noggle has been a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 2004.
*Ambrosia maple is another name for soft (mostly red) maple, which acquires that name when the ambrosia beetle tunnels into a tree and leaves beautiful green and gray streaks in the wood.