After 38 years as a general surgeon in Eastern Kentucky, William “Bill” Cook exchanged his surgical instruments for wood turning tools. Both Bill’s paternal grandfather and father did wood turning and woodwork for their avocation. As an early teen in 1947, Bill won an award for a Napoleonic Coach he built for the national Fisher Body Craftsman Guild Competition. Upon retirement, woodworking was an inevitable direction for Bill and he now uses tools from both his father and grandfather’s workshops.
After exploring woodturning in a class four years ago at the John C. Campbell Folk School, in North Carolina, Bill became “hooked.” He began to acquire tools, and he practiced, read, and watched videos about woodworking. He received professional development funding through the Kentucky Arts Council and took additional workshops at the John C. Campbell School and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in TN.
Bill’s turnings include a dreidel, a small spinning top used in games played at Hanukkah. He enjoys turning pieces that are artistic yet functional – to be used and enjoyed. Bill is a member of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.
Bill’s work can be found at the Kentucky Artisan Center in Berea, KY.