Master Bowl Turner
Jay Rider regularly turns more than 50 bowls in one day. Not occasionally. Not rarely. Regularly. That’s because Jay is a Master Bowl Turner, and is responsible for overseeing all the bowl turning production (and then some) at the Gill workshop. As his surroundings suggest, Jay is in fact an All Star.
“When I was a kid, of course I wanted to be a rock star!” Jay recalls, chuckling. “But I went to school for carpentry. And then I did a bunch of different things…worked in different places. I was landscaping, I was putting tires on cars. But now, I’m really happy to be doing what I love: working with wood again.”
While Jay does have an impressive singing voice, the love he has for woodworking comes through crystal clear in his dedication to his craft and the incredible work he produces. Watching him work is an experience, one after which you will be lightly coated in sawdust. Jay speaks of the lathe in the Gill shop with the kind of affection one might have for an older dog that sometimes trips on its own droopy ears: “It’s custom designed and custom built,” he says, “so whenever it breaks down, we custom machine a new part special for it. But Spencer built it just how he wanted it!” And Jay definitely puts it through its paces. Between him and the other bowl turners, this thing is going nearly non-stop.
When he’s not turning bowls or wielding a chain saw at the Gill workshop, you might catch a rare glimpse of Jay out in the wild hunting or fishing. But where he spends most of his free time is with his greatest and dearest love: his family! His fiancé Shanna and their three beautiful boys – Zachary, Colton, and Kasen – are truly the loves of Jay’s life.