Knotty and nice

Longtime instructor Steve Walter shares his love of woodworking.



Steve Walter with some of his pieces at the recently closed Tulsa Wood Arts school

Evan Taylor

Tulsa native Steve Walter’s interest in woodworking bloomed in shop class as a struggling seventh grader who was unhappy with his family’s relocation to small-town Ohio.“

My shop teacher took an interest in me and helped me through a difficult period in my life,”  Walter says. “He gave me something to focus on other than my problems.” 

That teacher probably never realized he would help Walter decide his career path, which included a teaching stint a few years ago at Clear Creek Abbey, near Hulbert, Okla., showing the monks there “how to use their equipment to make furniture for the abbey,” he says.

Nearly 10 years later Walter would found Tulsa Wood Arts in 2012 and begin teaching his own students the craft. In light of the school’s recent closing this past December, Walter continues to look for more opportunities to teach. In the meantime, he continues his own journey in the art of woodworking.


How did you become interested in wood arts? With the renaissance of woodworking in the ’70s and ’80s, I was inspired by the books and magazine articles published by woodworkers James KrenovTage Frid and Sam Maloof.

Did you train in woodworking, or are you self-taught? I am mostly self-taught, learning many basics and techniques of furniture making from the books by John G. Shea. Working with inexpensive lumberyard pine, I built many of John’s pieces for my home. I learned my skills generally by trial and error — not a method of woodworking that I would recommend to anyone today.

What types of pieces do you create? I enjoy building pieces with Shaker influence and 18th century pieces with veneering, stringing and inlays. Although I have made many pieces that I have been very pleased with, I enjoyed making the Southern Ladies’ Desk (a small piece that looks like a drop-front secretary desk) the most up to now. Yet, the piece that I am most proud of is not a piece at all. What brings me the most pride is seeing the accomplishments of the students I work with.

How long does it take to create such pieces? I have had some commissions that have taken several hundred hours to complete. For example, the Southern Ladies’ Desk ... took me 160 hours. (Some) custom-designed commission pieces ... have taken up to 400 hours. I am usually working on at least one piece for myself or as a commission.

What types of wood do you prefer? Whatever wood I happen to be working with today. More specifically, I love the subtle beauty of cherry; the wonderful workability of genuine mahogany; the warm, rich beauty of black walnut; and the complexity and distinctive characteristics of curly maple, in spite of its difficult workability.

Why did Tulsa Wood Arts close? Tulsa Wood Arts closed because we could not generate enough students to cover our cost of doing business.

What do you enjoy most about teaching? I most enjoy seeing the growth and development of thestudents.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Power of poetry

Money management 101

Five local financial professionals break down hot topics on savings, retirement and more.

My Perfect Weekend: Brian Horton

Manager of enterprise financial planning and analysis, Williams; founder and president of Horton Records LTD, a nonprofit record label based in Tulsa
Edit Module

Add your comment:

 

Get the best in arts, entertainment and more straight to your inbox.

Join our email list

Edit ModuleShow Tags

September 2019

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

The 5th Annual Zach Monaghan Memorial Run will be held on September 15th at the Union High School Track, 6636 South Mingo Avenue.  The 5k begins at 3:00 pm with a one-mile fun run at...

Cost: 5k: $25-Adult, $15 For all students. Fun Run/Walk: Free

Where:
Union High School Track
6636 South Mingo Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Zach Monaghan Memorial Fund
Telephone: 918-630-5579
Contact Name: Chris Monaghan
Website »

More information

  Scotfest is Oklahoma’s flagship Celtic Music Festival and Highland Games. Scotfest is held annually the third weekend in September, this year the dates are September 13-15. Scotfest is one of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Broken Arrow Events Park
21101 E 101st st
Broken Arrow, OK  74014
View map »


Contact Name: Steve Campbell
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Participating restaurants offer a special prix fixe menu for brunch, lunch, or dinner. These restaurants donate a portion of Restaurant Week menu sales to the Food Bank. It is a week in which our...

Cost: TBD

Where:
A Variety of Area Restaurants
, OK


Sponsor: Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-936-4511
Contact Name: Anushka Raje
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Think you can’t do something? Think again! Step outside your comfort zone and try something new at the I Can’t workshops. The fall lineup includes crowd favorites as well as some new...

Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Tulsa Artist fellows Sarah Ahmad, Moheb Soliman, Edgar Fabián Frías, and Rafael Corzo will join Dallas-based artist Simeen Farhat in a panel discussion exploring the relationship between artistic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lewis Project Space
20 S. Lewis Ave.
, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Artist Fellowship

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Whether you are remarried or planning to remarry, discover the key steps to building a healthy stepfamily with expert Ron Deal, using his Smart Stepfamily book and participant guide. Through eight...

Cost: 0

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury United Methodist Church
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

DivorceCare is a faith based, 13-week support program to help you through the after-effects of divorce. The DVD teaching includes topics such as understanding the hurt, dealing with anger,...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

Why walk through grief alone when you can participate in GriefShare’s highly acclaimed 13-week video-based support group with others experiencing the same? This group offers a comfortable...

Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Evening of Giving is a fundraising gala held in late September and presented by the HBA Remodelers Council to raise funds to support local charities. This year's beneficiary is...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
11545 E 43rd St
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74146
View map »


Telephone: 918-663-5820
Contact Name: Morgan Sikes
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

The Evening of Giving is a fundraising gala held in late September and presented by the HBA Remodelers Council to raise funds to support local charities. This year's beneficiary is Revitalizing...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
11545 E 43rd St
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74146
View map »


Telephone: 918-663-5820
Contact Name: Morgan Sikes
Website »

More information

This annual fundraiser is hosted by the Remodeler's Council of the Home Builder's Association. ALL are welcome to attend and support these worthy causes.  The Evening...

Cost: TBA

Where:
Mike Fretz Event Center
11545 E 43rd St
Tulsa, OK  74146
View map »


Sponsor: Day Build & Design
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Rooms With A Heart Inc. is holding their 2nd Annual Casino Night Fundraiser on Septemer 19, 2019 at the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa from 6-10 pm.  Tickets are $50 per person and include...

Cost: $50

Where:
Greenwood Cultural Center
322 N. Greenwood Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: Rooms With A Heart Inc.
Telephone: 918-277-2114
Contact Name: Gina Johnson
Website »

More information

Star of the stage and screen, Travis Guillory jumps off the news anchor desk and onto the cabaret stage with “Headlines & Kicklines.” Singing songs of roles he’s played, roles...

Cost: $15 Bistro / $10 General Admission

Where:
Lynn Riggs Theatre at OKEQ
621 East 4th Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: OKEQ and Pat Hobbs
Telephone: 918-637-25866
Contact Name: Pat Hobbs
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography! "Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography!"Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's “Alice's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for the St. Jude Walk/Run during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, to raise money for the kids of St. Jude, where families never receive a bill for anything. Let's end...

Cost: $10

Where:
ONEOK FIELD
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »


Telephone: 405-234-7095
Contact Name: Astrid Rodriguez
Website »

More information

Join us for the St. Jude Walk/Run during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, to raise money for the kids of St. Jude, where families never receive a bill for anything. Let's end...

Cost: 5K - $20; 1 mile - $10; Ages 5 and under – Free

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK, OK  74120
View map »


Sponsor: St. Jude
Telephone: 915-841-9154
Contact Name: Adrian Ordonez
Website »

More information

Featuring more than seventy works by French and European masters such as Degas, Manet, Monet, Rousseau and Van Gogh, this exhibition celebrates Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon’s extraordinary gift...

Cost: $15

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

More information

Celebrate the vital role eastern Oklahoma plays in the amazing Monarch butterfly migration! Join us for great activities and presentations including educational activities and crafts, tagging and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Turkey Mountain
6850 S Elwood Ave
Tulsa, OK  74132
View map »


Sponsor: river parks
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

The Home Remodeling Showcase is the premier showcase of newly remodeled homes in Tulsa and the surrounding areas.  Presented by the Remodelers Council of the Home Builders Association of Greater...

Cost: 10

Where:
Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
, OK


Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
Website »

More information

Experience the sites, sounds and smells of Greece!  The best lil stop in OPA!homa - just off route 66. Live music, dancing, kids zone, Greek food and drink, delectable baked goods, Greek...

Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

Cost: FREE

Where:
Central Park Community Center
1500 South Main Street
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 918-259-8437
Contact Name: Central Park Community Center

More information

Join us for our second annual Food Truck Frenzy on September 21, from 4-8 p.m., and taste a variety of delicious cuisines from food trucks located in our riverfront backyard. Families can enjoy...

Cost: Adults $17.95, Children 3yrs-12yrs $13.95 Military and Seniors(62+) $13.95

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Dr
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
Website »

More information

Fundraising concert featuring popular Christian rock band Sanctus Real benefiting Circle of Care's three programs: state-wide foster care, transitional living for single mothers with children...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
Venue 68
6910 S. 101st E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74134
View map »


Sponsor: Circle of Care
Telephone: 405-215-1400
Contact Name: Sarah Steffes
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
Website »

More information

Benefiting the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Broken Arrow Cosplay contest and silent auction. Fan made 1966 Batmobile on display. Food provided by Charlies Chicken, Panera and drinks...

Cost: $10, 12 and under FREE

Where:
1400 W. Washington St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
View map »


Telephone: 918-406-9341
Contact Name: Sean Henry
Website »

More information

Circle of Care and popular Christian Rock band Sanctus Real are teaming up on September 21, 2019, to raise funds for Circle of Care’s three nonprofit programs. Band member...

Cost: Tickets start at $20

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church's Venue 68
6910 S. 101 E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography! "Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

Whether you prefer Borg nanoprobes to Midichlorians, the Justice League to the Avengers, or Terminators to Daleks, don't let anyone force you into boldly going where no one has gone...

Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
Website »

More information

Young and old alike will love the cherished story of Alice and her friends performed through original and exciting dance choreography!"Project Alice" is based on Lewis Carroll's “Alice's...

Cost: 15-20

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Portico Dance Theatre
Telephone: 918-321-0682
Contact Name: Linda Davis
Website »

More information

In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
Website »

More information

Where:
Veterans Park
1811 S Boulder Park Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Get wined and dined at the first annual Tulsa Beer & Wine Festival. Stroll through our landscape gardens and treat your taste buds to exquisite food pairings with local and national craft...

Cost: TBD

Where:
Gathering Place Great Lawn
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

What's New


Branjae on the sixth sense, the street light and empowerment

A Q&A with the singer/songwriter, who just released a new single: “Street Light.”

Comments

Oklahoma's Best-Sellers: Sept. 8

Based on total number of book sales at Magic City Books, Best of Books in Edmond, Brace Books and More in Ponca City, and Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City.

Comments

Cosplay, celebs and plenty of pop culture

TulsaPeople intern visits for the first time the annual Wizard World Tulsa comic-con

Comments

3.03: Order Up -- Johnna Hayes

A conversation with Johnna Hayes, operating partner of 3 Sirens Restaurant Group.

Comments

QUIZ: Where should I eat during Restaurant Week?

Tulsa Restaurant Week is September 6-15. Can't decide what to try first? We've got you.

Comments