John Jordan 1950-2023


John Jordan 1950-2023:
We pay tribute to a much-loved and well-known turner.

World-renowned turner John Jordan passed away on 28 February and we send our sincere condolences to his wife Vicki, his family and the friends he leaves behind, as well as the woodturning community.

John, a woodturner from Cane Ridge, Nashville, Tennessee, was trained in electronics and computers with no formal arts education. He became interested in woodworking in the late ’70s, making furniture to commission until he discovered woodturning in the early ’80s. When he was interviewed for issue 118, John said: ‘Once I gave it a try I was hooked. It always made sense to me, and it was clear that it was something I was good at.’ A keen advocate of using local, green wood to create his distinctive hollow forms, he said: ‘Green wood is easier to work and, from my point of view, much more fun.’ He has been featured in, and published, a number of articles in Woodturning magazine over the years and his love of texture and colour became his trademark. ‘Hollow turning interested me from the first, and I feel that it is a good way to explore surfaces and textures.’ Ever committed to passing on the skills he acquired, he generously shared the techniques for many of his signature pieces with our readers, as well as demonstrating and teaching around the world. Our late editor, Mark Baker, was so impressed by him and his work that he invited him to feature in our 200th issue, carving and texturing from silver maple one of his iconic vessels, many of which are held in private collections and museums around the world. He has been called ‘an innovator, teacher, a wonderful artist’, ‘a guiding force in the contemporary wood art movement’ and ‘meticulous and precise’. John Jordan was an inspirational man, an influential woodturning artist, a husband and a father who will be missed by all who knew him.

1. WT199 – How to create the perfect hollow form article

2. WT199 – How to create the perfect hollow form article

3. WT292 – black white ash pair

4. John

5. Featured Artist piece in WT222 – Walnut vessel with hand carved opening detail

6. Cherry vessel – shoulder and neck detail

7. Woodturning 198 cover

8. Red maple vessel, pith in centre

9. Silver maple burl vessel detail

10. Red maple burl vessel

11. WT246 – textured and dyed candleholder

12. Lidded vessel in wormy boxelder

13. Silver maple burl vessel detail

14. Walnut vessel with additional carving

15. WT222 – Walnut vessel with hand carved opening

16. Cherry vessel


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