By Melanie Stegner
Glenwood has recently been blessed with another unique new shopping experience. Crossed Cannon Wood Works, a combination shop and workshop, has opened on First Avenue. Tyler Smith, owner and creator of the store, has been doing woodturning for several years now and had been looking for a way to share his talents and story with others.
Smith hails from southern Oregon. He joined the military in 1999 and served 21 and a half years in the U.S. Navy, going on nine deployments to 51 countries. His wife, Megan, also a U.S. Navy veteran, is from North Dakota and they have a 14-year-old son. “We visited a friend on Lake Darling three or four years ago and fell in love with the area,” said Smith.
Originally Smith was interested in small engine repair, but it wasn’t long before he shifted gears and started turning wood. “My father-in-law taught me how to turn wood in the summer of 2018. He taught me how to make a pen and I realized that this is therapy for me. The world disappears when you watch the wood spin into the next creation,” Smith expressed. His talent has grown from pens into bowls, calls, containers and even hats.
“The whole point of Crossed Cannon Wood Works is finding ‘beauty from within,’” he stated. “I enjoy working with wood with imperfections. Wormholes, burls, rotten parts, they all create a unique piece.”
Smith was stationed in San Diego when he found several other woodturners. “They asked if I wanted to join their club and after I was over the shock of a club existing, I said yes. That club has some of the best woodturners in the United States, and I learned from them.”
“I’ve taught a lot of people to turn wood, but I really enjoy teaching veterans because I can relate to them,” he stated. Smith has taught people that struggle with PTSD, physical disabilities and mental disabilities. “I taught a friend who cannot stand at a lathe to turn wood from his wheelchair. I have a friend with no arms that turns wood with her feet. It’s therapeutic for them. For an hour they can forget their trauma and just focus on the wood turning.”
Smith’s plans for his business have several aspects. Within the next year, he wants to start offering classes on basic woodturning and creating bowls and pens. In the next few years, he’d like to work with rehabilitation seekers on learning a new skill and building confidence. He has retail items for sale and some unique pieces on display that are not for sale. He also is open to taking limited custom orders.
He really looks forward to sharing his creativity with the people of Pope County, but as you can tell, he has an interesting story too. “I just want people to come in and enjoy the art of woodturning. There are so many trees here and we see the bark, branches and leaves, but I can show people what trees are like from the inside and what they can be. It truly is art,” he shared. “Plus, it smells really good most of the time!”