Hello, My name is Jim Benson. Just a bit about who I am. I retired in 2009 after 25 years as a Quality Manager.  I also taught art in Darlington, Wisconsin for a few years. I have a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.  As you can probably tell my roots are in Wisconsin.  This may explain my passion for  Badgers sports and Packers football. 
 Wondering what I would do with all my free time in retirement I began exploring my interests a little deeper. I have always loved working in the yard and garden so my first thought was to become a Master Gardener and volunteer my time helping others raise a garden full of weeds. I did take the Master Gardener course at the UM Extension and as always my garden is still as full of weeds as ever.  I have also always enjoyed working with wood so I decided to buy a wood lathe and make bowls. My first project in learning how to use the lathe was a Spurtle and the rest is history. A Spurtle is a  16th century scottish stirring stick used for making porridge that I saw while poking around on the internet. I showed this to my family and they all encouraged me to try to sell them at some consignment shops around the metro.  Through the help of my daughter Katie who was selling her crafts at some of the shops I was able to get my things into a couple of places. Through word of mouth I now sell my wares in several shops around town as well as the Mill City Farmers Market. (see article below). I  also have several wholesale accounts around the country.
 So I no longer wonder about what I will do with all my free time in retirement. But if I get a few minutes I would still like to turn a bowl or two. I spend some time most days making the things you see in the photos. I enjoy doing this very much. My goal is to make something that is as pleasing to look at as it is to use.  Thank you.