SOUTH CHINA – David Lancaster has already made it big in the world of wood turning.

He’s traveled throughout the country to demonstrate his craft, amassed a list of high-profile customers and made a few appearances on HGTV.

Lancaster — who grew up in Augusta and crafts heirloom bowls from wood at his workshop in Weeks Mills — will only get more recognition in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, he’ll pack specially prepared wood and his 1,000-pound lathe — the primary machine tool used in wood turning — into his van and drive to Manhattan for an appearance on “The Martha Stewart Show.”

Lancaster said he’ll tape the segment Wednesday in preparation for a Friday air date. The show runs each weekday at 10 a.m. on the Hallmark Channel.

“I’m really happy to get the opportunity to do that,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me.”

Lancaster, 59, has crafted wooden bowls from cherry, maple, ash and other wood types for more than 20 years.

“It started out as a hobby and turned into a full-time job,” he said.

The film “Pinocchio” triggered Lancaster’s love of woodworking as a child, and he had acquired his first lathe by the time he reached seventh grade. He enrolled in shop classes at Hodgkins Middle School and later at Cony High School, and he’s still in touch with his shop teachers.

Since he caught the woodworking bug, Lancaster has consistently made furniture pieces. He also worked full-time building houses before turning his focus to bowls.

“I love wood turning. It’s a passion,” he said. “The bowls sell well. People appreciate something finely crafted that they can use as a piece of art or a functional piece.”

Lancaster’s least expensive bowls sell for $50, and the most expensive are worth thousands.

“I like to have bowls that are less expensive,” he said, “and once in a while you’ll just get that beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece of wood.”

Lancaster obtains his wood from loggers throughout the Northeast.

He met Martha Stewart, who has a home on Mount Desert Island, years ago at a Maine Crafts Guild show in Bar Harbor.

“Whenever she’s in town and we have a show, she’s always there,” he said.

Lancaster, the Maine Crafts Guild president, said he was set to appear on Stewart’s show for a demonstration years ago, but the plans fell through when the TV host ran up against criminal charges of lying to federal investigators about a 2001 stock sale. She was later convicted and spent five months in jail.

Lancaster last saw Stewart in August, when she attended the crafts guild’s show in Bar Harbor.

“She seemed to be really at ease,” Lancaster said. “She talked to everybody. It was really nice.”

As Lancaster looks forward to his wood-turning demonstration on Stewart’s show, he expects to be nervous.

“That’s kind of intimidating to be in front of a great big studio audience like that, live, knowing there’s a million people watching ‘The Martha Stewart Show,’” he said. “I will be nervous. Hopefully, it won’t show.”


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