Rural Missouri - March 2021 - 57

a " little resume " with each piece, sharing the history of the
wood and where it came from, making sure to sign, date
and number each piece.
Every species of wood brings something different to the
lathe, but the couple each have favorites.
Steve loves working with burl wood (an irregular growth
on the tree) of any type because the grain pattern always
creates a one-of-a-kind piece. Another favorite? Figured big
leaf maple. " If the wood is dyed, it reflects light with a 3D
iridescent effect, " Steve says. Valerie enjoys working with
cherry burl or Texas ebony because she likes how the turquoise she often adds contrasts with the wood grain.
" It's a bit of a treasure hunt. You don't ever really know
exactly what you've got until you cut into the wood, " Steve
adds, noting that gnarls and cracks in wood add unique
character to each piece.
Ten years ago after an EF5 tornado struck the city of
Joplin, Steve wanted to help his fellow citizens create a
positive memory from the calamity and ruin. He began
gathering pieces of the old, uprooted oak trees which used
to stand tall outside Joplin High School and began creating vases, bowls and pens for the staff and alumni. Today
he says he only has enough wood to make a few more pens
but is glad he was able to gift what he could.
" When President Obama came to speak at Joplin's commencement the following year we gave him one of those
pens, " says Steve, noting a pen was also given to then-Gov.
Jay Nixon.
COVID-19 halted the couple's art show schedule, which
usually includes 12 to 14 events per year. " We've been part
of a couple of Zoom art shows, but it isn't the same as going to a show and being able to see and touch the work, "
Steve says. " We're just now starting to book a few shows
for later this spring. "
Until then, the couple spends part of each day in their
shop, turning and buffing out new works of art.
" Last year we completed nearly 200 pieces each, " he
says, adding their wood work starts around $20 for one of
Valerie's pendants and runs up to $500 for one of Steve's
hollow forms or round shields, which can be as large as 25
inches in diameter.
" I like to say God's covered up some of his most beautiful artwork with bark and he's given us the privilege to
expose it for others to enjoy, " Steve says.
Follow The Wooden Doerr on Facebook or check out their
website at www.thewoodendoerr.com. Customers may
contact the Doerr's by emailing sdoerr@thewoodendoerr.com
or calling 417-529-3730.
From top right: Steve and Valerie Doerr turn fallen trees into beautiful works of art through their woodturning business, The Wooden
Doerr. Steve uses a lathe to work on a piece of aromatic camphor
which will soon become a vase.Valerie buffs out a live-edge bowl she
created from a piece of cherry burl. When possible, she likes to add
turquoise and brass key filings into the tiny cracks and crevices to
enhance finished pieces.
MARCH 2021 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

57


http://www.thewoodendoerr.com http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Contents
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Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - March 2021 - Cover4
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