Keith Lackner, of Dwight, is featured in the current issue of the national Woodturning magazine, published Jan. 26, issue number 302. In addition, photos taken for the article, including the cover photo, were done by Dwight photo studio J7 Images, owned by Jake Carr.
Lackner, a 1994 graduate of Dwight Township High School, has developed a patented technique for blending acrylic resin with wood to make art piece vases and other vessels.
“It is acrylic infused into wood, and I have a patent on a special resin,” Lackner told The Paper.
“Nobody else out there can do it,” he added, meaning his pieces are one-of-a-kind artwork.
“That’s why I was featured in the magazine,” Lackner explained. The magazine includes a three-page article on the Dwight artist.
A lathe, such as the one used by Lackner, is a tool that rotates the workpiece on its axis to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation, facing, turning, with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object with symmetry about an axis of rotation, according to Wikipedia. Lathes can be used to shape pottery, the best-known design being the potter’s wheel. “Examples of objects that can be produced on a lathe include candlestick holders, gun barrels, cue sticks, table legs, bowls, baseball bats, musical instruments (especially woodwind instruments), crankshafts, and camshafts,” Wikipedia said.
The current project Lackner is working on is a natural walnut slab table with legs he turned on the lathe. Lackner credits two DTHS teachers for inspiring him in his artistic endeavors: retired art teacher Bill Skridulis and shop teacher Jeff Freoelich. He said the teachers helped “set me up.” His business is called Wooden Treasures by Keith Lackner. He utilizes a professional lathe in his shop, and is helped out with artistic advice from his girlfriend, Jessica Leschewiski of Morris.
He said Jessica is reported to be his “muse.” “She helps with forms, shapes and colors,” Lackner said. He started with a custom furniture business. So how did he begin his wood turning work? “I went into a tool store and there was a local turning club,” Lackner said. He joined the club, turned a wooden pen and was hooked on wood turning ever since. That was five years ago. Then he attended wood turning school with David Marks in Santa Rosa, California, and now goes back for classes every other year. His work is sponsored by Carter Products of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He sells his wares at art shows across the nation, and teaches at Woodcraft Tool Store in Woodridge. Woodcraft has master craftsmen come in and teach classes.
For further information, go to Lackner’s Facebook page or call his business at (815) 584-7460.