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.

Kayla Fish


Kayla joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in May of 2017. She got into journalism because she loves talking with people, and she's incredibly grateful to share the stories of Mainers throughout the region.

She got her start in broadcasting way back in middle school as a member of a morning announcements TV broadcast club, and her love for the news industry took off from there.

Kayla graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with degrees in broadcast journalism and Spanish. During her time as a student at Penn State, Kayla was an executive producer and reporter for the "Centre County Report", an Emmy award-winning student-run newscast. She studied abroad in Ronda, Spain and traveled to Panama with an international reporting class. Kayla kept busy in college, spending four years working as a student manager in the dining hall.

Kayla grew up in the village of Shawnee-on-Delaware, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, so transitioning into life in Vacationland was a piece of cake! A self-described winter fanatic, she loves all things snow related, including hitting the slopes on her snowboard. She also likes hiking, kayaking or doing anything outdoors. She loves meeting new people so if you see her around, be sure to stop and say hi!