Lathe Artist & Woodworker Extraordinaire

Douglas Diggles has been a woodturner for almost 50 years. Born in Savannah, Georgia, Doug moved to California after serving in the army in Vietnam. He attended California State University at Northridge where he studied 3-D design, specializing in wood.

Woodworking has been a lifelong love?

I was introduced to the lathe in 1971; it was love at first spin.

I left college to become a starving artist. I was wildly successful. I starved!

What did you do to survive?

I needed to make a regular living. I became a real estate salesman, then broker and developer. Eventually, I became a licensing trainer for Century 21 here in Bakersfield and then worked for the Kern County Public Administrator.

Did you continue woodworking?

I never stopped turning; I am a maker. I was involved with the Glendale Wood Turners and the American Association of Wood Turners. I was very inspired by fellow artists and started selling my work in 1995.

The translucency of some of your pieces seems to defy the medium. Your work is so delicate, how do you create such fineness?

I work with wood that is native to Kern County. Cottonwood is abundant here, and I’m quite passionate about it. Most turners work with wood that is green. I turn dry wood. I like the way cottonwood turns. It is very light, rarely cracks and has wonderful grain patterns. I learned the technique from a turner from Hawaii, Ron Kent. It thrills me to see the light pass through the wonderful grain pattern!

To contact Diggles, email him at or call 661.335.1898.