Fall Beauty, 2019
Creative Relief Carving / August 8 – 13, 2021
As a young person, being an artist was the last thing I ever thought I would be. Both of my parents had tinkered with crafting, but none of their projects interested me. Following high school, I enrolled in a technical program to become a machinist. Little did I know that those skills would be used to create my work. I spent most of my career working in the gas pipeline industry.
I guess you would have called me a tinkerer. I had a little shop behind my house and when my children were young, we were always building something or fixing something, It wasn’t until my father-in-law cleaned out his shop and gave me a simple small wood lathe that I found my passion. I began by turning some candle sticks from discarded pallets, then small bowls and weed pots. In no time, I was hooked! I decided right away that I wanted to learn more about turning and so I began going to classes each summer. My wife always compared my classes to summer camp because I was always so excited to leave and even more excited when I came home with new skills and projects. I learned from many master turners who each left a mark on my work. Currently, I teach and demo for local clubs, The Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild and will begin teaching at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in 2017.
Woodturning has allowed me to use gifts that I didn’t know I had. I have met and turned with some outstanding turners who are also outstanding men and women who I am now proud to call my friends.
Sammy Long is a native of Greenville, Mississippi and a resident of Brandon, Mississippi. He is happily retired from many years of work in the gas pipeline industry. He began his career as a machinist and first learned to turn on a metal lathe as a young adult. He began turning as a hobby and is now known for his exquisite hollow forms with leaf carvings, piercings and spiraling. He is a member of the Craftsman’s Guild of Mississippi and teaches there, at the Appalachian School of the Arts, John C. Campbell, and for local and regional woodturning clubs and symposiums. Those who have directly influenced Sammy’s work have been John Jordon, Binh Pho and Dixie Biggs.