Tree Rings Dazzzle at Crozet Soiree; Phil James Up Jan. 13


by Lisa Goehler

It’s always a little sad when a stately tree must be cut down. But Frederick Williamson, a White Hall-based artist, gives new life to the wood by “turning” it into beautiful and unique bowls. He shared some of his bowls and his philosophy of art with the audience at the November Crozet Library Soiree.

Williamson is influenced by his experiences living in West Virginia and Africa and his travels to other regions, including Israel and the American Southwest. His work has been informed by other media, including clay, and by shapes found in functional objects of many cultures, such as water jugs. Mr. Williamson shared with the audience some of the techniques for turning a single large chunk of a tree into, for instance, nesting bowls. He has worked with many types of wood, including burls, historic trees from Monticello, even grape vines from local vineyards. Each hand-turned piece maintains the character and personality of the wood. Indeed, Mr. Williamson says, “each piece should have a presence.” From what he showed at the Crozet Library, they most certainly do!

More information about the artistry involved in turning wood can be found on his web site at

The Crozet Library Soiree Series will take a break during the month of December, but mark your calendar now for Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m., when Phil James, featured columnist with the Crozet Gazette, will share his stories of Crozet history. James has become the ‘historian of Crozet.’ Through his work collecting photographs and oral histories, James has preserved Crozet’s local color, history and lore. Don’t miss this special Soiree event, and save room for dessert! Space and parking are limited (as all who know the Crozet Library are, alas, aware), so arrive early.