Michael Blankenship is a completely blind wood turner. He became blind from a rare disease called AZOOR in 2003. He was a woodworker all of his life but never turned wood into bowls until he became blind. Michael taught himself to turn wood by listening to videos.
Michael gets his wood to turn his unique and one of a kind bowls from urban logs or trees that would have ended up in landfills. He believes in recycling logs to make useful and beautiful bowls. Each item that he turns is one of a kind. Since he is blind each piece that he makes is unique. No two pieces look alike.
Michael belongs to two woodturning clubs to help him learn new techniques. These clubs give him an opportunity to learn from other turners and try new styles of turning. He learns ways to improve his skills. He tries new shapes and styles of bowls and other items. He is also a member of the national organization called AAW (American Association of Woodturners).
Michael has been demonstrating for varies symposiums and clubs throughout the country. He has been showing his technics and methods so that all turners despite their disabilities won't give up their love of turning as well as inspire others to start turning.
Michael has been featured in two international magazines: Woodturning Design and Woodturning magazine UK. He has also been on a PBS TV show called Illinois Stories.
Michael is featured in 3 galleries: The Studio on 6th in Springfield, Illinois
Turned Treasures in Belleville, Illinois
The Vault in Tuscola, Illinois