Guest Blog

Turns by Ben Proudfoot

A Re-print from Fine Woodworking

Ben Proudfoot has done it again. Once in a long while a craftsman’s world is illuminated with such sympathy and perceptiveness that work you thought you understood rings with far deeper meaning. That was the effect for me of watching Turns, the new short documentary about the wonderful Nova Scotia-based turner Steven Kennard, whose turned and carved blackwood boxes were featured on the back cover of issue 220.

Made by Proudfoot and his team of very young and very talented filmmakers at Breakwater Studios, the ten-minute movie is a pure thrill to watch. It combines superb filmmaking–crackerjack camerawork and editing and a beautiful score–with an obvious passion for craft and an exceptional skill for interviewing. As Kennard describes turning one of his boxes, you feel transported right to the heart of his work and his world.

We first heard about Ben Proudfoot last year, when Fine Woodworking’s Senior Web Producer Ed Pirnik called Proudfoot’s short film The Ox, about the California woodworker Eric Hollenbeck, the best video of the year.

The film about Steven Kennard is one of six short documentaries Breakwater is making about Nova Scotia artisans. Another film in the series, Stone, about Heather Lawson, a stone cutter and stone carver, matches Turns in visual delights and emotional resonance. Something tells me we’ll be hearing much more about Proudfoot and Breakwater in the future. Can’t wait.

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