Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:01

"Not your typical Maine artisan" - Wood turner uses craft to fight addiction Featured

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LINCOLN - Wood turners typically shape rough lumber into something smoother and more unique.

One Lincoln artisan uses the hobby to smooth out his own rough edges, too.

"I'm not your typical Maine artisan," said Randy Barker.

Most days, you can find Randy in his wood shop.

"Yeah, this is where I spend my time," said Barker.

Randy is a wood turner, primarily making hand crafted bowls, some of which sell for up to $1,000.

"Even if I didn't make a dime at it, I'd still do it," Barker said.

But for Randy, wood turning is more than just a hobby.

"Wood turning is really addictive," Barker said, and then began to laugh.

This new addiction now replaces his old ones.

"I've been clean from opiates for, it'll be 14 years in January," Barker said. "From stimulants, it took me another 3-4 years after I sobered up from opiates to break away from that."

When he was struggling to overcome his addiction, Randy found wood turning kept him busy and focused.

"It keeps me out of trouble, it does," Barker said.

Each product he transforms into something new reflects the new life he's shaped for himself.

"You have to remove yourself from your old life, and you've got to find something to do, that's constructive, and that makes you feel good," Barker said.

Randy sells his products at various craft shows.

You can also find some of his handcrafted bowls at Giacomo's in downtown Bangor.

For more information about Randy's products, visit his Facebook page.