My Background

Donna Zils BanfieldIt started with refinishing old furniture that I inherited from my grandfather.  Despite working full-time until  age 96 as a furniture finisher, he just slapped coats of paint on his own furniture.  I could tell each decade by the color of the paint that I removed. One piece, an Armoire, had up to six coats of paint.  I easily finessed a heat gun to strip away each layer of paint.   A lawyer by day, I found myself rushing home from the office just to spend a few hours each night to work with the wood.  Once there, my pace slowed as I worked patiently and  methodically.  

My husband recalled my fascination with a woodturning demonstration at the  Annual Fair of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  He thought I might enjoy woodturning, and surprised me with my first lathe and turning tools in 2001.

Many people come to a crossroad at some point in their lives. This was mine and I made the leap. I closed my private law practice at the end of 2003 to turn full-time. 

My creations today are a reflection of my life. I live a life less ordinary, as do the trees with which I began.  Most of the wood that I harvest comes from trees that have fallen during storms or were subject to insect damage or urban development. I take what would have been the end of a majestic life in its natural state and give it new life – a life less ordinary.