Queensland wood-turner Dale Cordwell thinks he was born with “sawdust in the blood”.
He was also born with a condition which causes shortening or absence of limbs called non-thalidomide phocomelia, which Mr Cordwell describes as “Latin for missing a few bits and pieces”.
Like many children living with a disability in the 1970s, Mr Cordwell initially spent time in the care of institutions, but his parents were pragmatic people and encouraged their son to try everything, including wood turning.
“I would jump up on the lathe with [Dad] and we would start sanding things and do a little bit of spindle work,” Mr Cordwell said.
(Safety note: AAW recommends a full face shield be worn whenever working at the lathe.)