My name is Damon Hartman and I live in Saranac Lake, NY, a small village nestled in the heart of the Adirondack mountains. The beauty of the area has influenced my woodworking tremendously. Also, I am blessed to have access to some of the most unique wood in the Northeastern United States. By day I am a forester and in my job I get the opportunity to rescue wood that is in the scrap pile and make something out of it. I don't look for the best veneer quality wood, I look for character. Character of the wood comes in many forms - big heart, rot, burl, curl, birdseye, crotch and anything else imaginable. For me the woodturning is about the wood and what I can uncover and enhance to hopefully make something unique and attractive. Some of what I make is more artistic and some is more functional.
Almost everything I turn is locally sourced, something akin to a forest to table concept. Living in the Adirondacks inspires me to make something that represents the area and is valued more because of where it originated.
In my profession, I believe in responsible, science-based forestry that meets the landowners objectives. I work hard to accomplish this in my work. "Wood is Good." If used correctly it is far superior than plastic or other materials and is better for the environment. If you purchase a wood based product, the carbon in the wood is sequestered for as long as the product is around. Forestry is good for our economy, community, environment, recreation and beyond. I am a member of the Empire State Forest Product Association, Society of American Foresters, Adirondack Woodturners Association, and the American Association of Woodturners.
I have business and forestry degrees from North Carolina State University and have been living in Saranac Lake since 2004 where my wife and I have raised our two kids. When I'm not at the wood lathe, I enjoy spending time with my family and our two golden retrievers.