LOS FRESNOS — Ivan Benavides, 33, was not accustomed to the time period “wooden turning.”
Now, he takes the time period and the phrase “wooden turner” with possession in hopes extra individuals will change into acquainted with it.
Benavides was born and raised within the Rio Grande Valley and went to highschool in Los Fresnos.
By the appears of his a number of tattoos and piercing, it’s apparent he’s a free spirited, artistic particular person.
A minimum of that’s how he describes himself.
He attended the Artwork Institute of San Antonio, the place he obtained a Bachelor’s diploma in effective arts and images in 2014. Afterward he labored with an organization the place he photographed lodges for 4 years.
“Ultimately I received bored with all of the touring and I used to be searching for one thing new to do,” Benavides stated.
What was purported to be a traditional stroll on the seaside grew to become a possibility for Benavides to seek out his new pastime and now job.
“Me and my spouse wish to go scavenging on the seaside. We had been on the market and I discovered some driftwood and I introduced the piece dwelling and I needed to make one thing out of it,” he stated.
“I wasn’t actually that nice at working with flat wooden on the time. I began doing a little analysis and discovered about wooden turning and that’s the place the identify comes about,” Benavides stated.
His model and firm is Seasidewoodco, and he remembers the primary time he made one thing was in November 2017.
“Since then I’ve been getting extra refined in my work and have began working with the group,” he stated.
Wooden turning is the craft of utilizing the wooden lathe with hand-held instruments to chop a form that’s symmetrical across the axis of rotation. Benavides stated he made his spouse a small pencil holder out of the driftwood he discovered on the seaside that day.
“That’s sort of what led me to need to create items individuals can use or maintain. It was a black walnut introduced from someplace up north,” Benavides stated, as he reminisced about his first time turning wooden.
“Studying the instruments, it was one thing else. It was just a little intimidating; it was all on my analysis and trial and error. It’s quite a lot of learning, particularly in getting my instruments to chop the way in which I needed them to chop,” he stated.
Benavides has a store behind his home in Los Fresnos the place he works. He appears round for wooden within the Valley he can salvage and use for his work.
His favourite variety to make use of is the Texas ebony, however he additionally makes use of items of anaqua bushes and mesquite.
Benavides creates wood bowls and utensils for dishes in addition to furnishings.
“It began off as a pastime. I’ve all the time been inventive and have all the time favored creating artwork. One of many points I had with images was I couldn’t give somebody a stable piece,” he stated.
“It was the actual fact you’ll be able to create a subtractive artwork type from a log right into a bowl that can be utilized for meals and folks can maintain, that’s what actually attracted me,” Benavides stated.
In March 2018, he opened his Etsy store the place he began to advertise his objects.
Now, his work may be discovered on the retailer Procured Life in Downtown Harlingen.
“I do know I’ve items everywhere in the United States. New York, Chicago, each month I’ve round ten purchasers,” he stated.
The method is gradual. The wooden has to dry and the bowls take time to be totally completed.
However, the originality from his work is what makes it stand out and has introduced Benavides success.
At present, he does have a separate part-time job, however his principal focus is centered in his wooden crafting.
“It’s increasing. I’m doing a complete eating room to be redone and I’m increasing the enterprise to create it full time,” he stated.
Benavides additionally does stools along with his wooden however has but to create a whole wood stool. That’s his subsequent aim, he stated.
“I need to make a stool with the stretchers and legs all wooden. I’ve the items proper there, I haven’t gotten to it. It’s a new problem to progress into furnishings making” Benavides stated.
From this expertise, he has discovered to seek out his area of interest.
“I’ve discovered my artwork type. I’ve been doing artwork since I used to be a baby and I lastly really feel I discovered one thing the place my work is appreciated and I respect my work,” he stated.
“It’s satisfying, it’s a feeling I haven’t felt in some other artwork type earlier than,” Benavides stated.
One other factor he enjoys in regards to the wooden turning is with the ability to see his purchasers’ reactions as soon as he delivers the completed product.
“After I get to promote one thing to somebody in particular person it’s a nice expertise. They’ll maintain that bowl and say ‘oh man it feels so good, so easy’ and I do delight myself in ensuring my work is to that high quality the place they will adore it,” he stated.
His most bought out objects at present are a selected sort of espresso mugs referred to as kuksas, a kind of ingesting cup historically made by the Sami individuals of northern Scandinavia.
Benavides will get assist from his spouse Annie in relation to dealing with the web site. Annie is a tattoo artist and in the course of the pandemic she tattooed a wooden lathe on Benavides’s arm.
The store has been open for 3 years and Annie determined to do it for him to commemorate the anniversary.
“I had been desirous to get myself a lathe tattoo on me and it was the right timing, why not,” he stated.
“It was to solidify it, that’s what he does. It’s higher than a marriage ring,” she stated.