VISIT & explore


LISLE, IL (July 22, 2013) – See local artisan Richard Dlugo turn fallen wood from The Morton Arboretum into unique works of art at his wood turning demonstration, Saturday, August 3 and Sunday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Arboretum Store. This event is free with Arboretum admission.
Watch as Dlugo transforms a piece of wood into a meticulously carved ornament, bowl or vase. He will also be creating spinning tops and inviting children to help decorate the toys.
“Having the opportunity to demonstrate woodturning at the Arboretum, using the wood of fallen Arboretum trees, is quite exciting to me,” says Dlugo. “I look forward especially to the excitement of the children who will be watching and are so easily awed as they experience a rough block of wood being transformed to something beautiful in just a few minutes.”
Then shop his selection of turned and handcrafted wood pieces including salt shakers, pepper grinders, bottle stoppers, birds, ornaments, vases and bowls. Dlugo’s one-of-a-kind objects featured at The Arboretum Store are made from trees fallen at the The Morton Arboretum due to storm damage or other natural causes.
“In using wood from the Arboretum I am able to present woods not found in commercial products.  I have worked with Peking Lilac, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Miyabe Maple, European Larch, Gingko, Catalpa, Osage Orange, Mulberry, Yellow Wood, Crab Apple, Walnut, Turkish Hazelnut, Cucumber Magnolia, Hackberry, Dogwood, Blue Cedar, Callery Pear, and Cork, none of which you’ll find in any lumber store,” Dlugo says.
To create these works of art, Dlugo starts with 4 to 5 foot logs from the Arboretum, which he chain saws down into smaller sections, rough cuts further into workable blocks then lets them air dry naturally. When ready, the blocks are mounted on a lathe which spins the wood at high speed while Dlugo shapes the piece with an array of very sharp tools called gouges and skews. Dlugo’s style is improvisational: He begins each piece with a general form in mind, but allows the wood to influence the final shape, making each piece unique. The craftwork is sealed with a commercial sealer, buffed and waxed.
Dlugo is from Western Springs and is a former teacher and musical performer.
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival, and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org.