Biography J. Paul Fennell
Born and raised in Beverly, Massachusetts, on the Atlantic coast north of Boston, my earliest memories
of woodworking were as a very young boy, sawing and nailing scraps of wood cutoffs together in my
Dad's basement workshop. And, I will never forget the pleasant aroma of freshly-cut wood emanating
from there. Any further interest in working with wood, however, was years later as an adult, but the
reverence for wood always remained. After receiving BSc and MSc degrees in engineering from The
Ohio State University and the University of Southern California respectively, I became employed in
California as a mission, rocket performance and orbital mechanics analyst in the Apollo space program.
I was first exposed to woodturning in 1970 through a woodworking course at a local high school Adult
Education program in California. My first lathe project in that class was a small table with turned legs,
which has been in our home ever since.
I am for the most part self-taught, and have focused on the expressiveness of hollow forms for most of my
life as a woodturner.
I presently reside in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, in Scottsdale, Arizona with my wife Judy, and work in a
400 sq. ft. studio. I have been a member of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) for over 25
years, and have missed only one of their annual symposia since 1987. I am currently a committee
member of the AAW's Professional Outreach Program.
I was also a charter member of Central New England Woodturners, one of the earliest chapters to
organize under the AAW in 1987. Currently, I am a member of the Arizona Woodturners
Over the years I have demonstrated at many symposia and local organizations, nationally and
internationally. I have work in numerous private collections, and several museums -- most notably the
Smithsonian, Detroit Institute of Arts, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Yale University Art Gallery and the
Wood Turning Center. See my Résumé for a more complete description.
My other interests include acoustic jazz and classical music, both very enjoyable to listen to while turning
wood in my studio.