Jay Shepard received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University in 1977. He focused on painting and drawing, art history and museum science. Shortly after graduation he discovered his interest in woodworking. Over the years he has designed and built houses, made cabinets and created furniture.
While creating a table he got excited about the idea of round legs, not the square legs that his table saw produced. So, he bought a 1938 vintage Delta lathe. While turning the legs he realized, “this is fun!” Needless to say, he has been turning wood ever since (and he never did finish that table).
Now Jay creatively blends his wood turning, woodworking and painting skills to produce unique lathe turned and sculpted artwork. These works are inspired by the daily shifting from day to night, the mysteries and imagery of nature and the cosmos, and the textures, layers and undulations of the landscape.
Jay seeks out locally grown wood that, for the most part, is considered urban salvage, wood scrap, and guitar wood rejects that would otherwise be disposed. He will only occasionally use some imported woods for accents.
Jay had been somewhat recluse when it has come to his artwork, generally avoiding competitions and exhibitions. But with the encouragement of friends and family, has reentered that world and has exhibited widely, with his work being published in woodworking and woodturning magazines nationally and internationally.