I first began woodworking like many of my 'era', doing whatever it took to improve our homes using sweat equity and possibly to even offset some furniture purchases in favor of buying tools with the savings. Of course, my wife soon figured out that the latter was never a timely solution, but allowed me the luxury...
Apprenticing with my talented father, Sears was my primary tools source and most often softwood or cheap hardwood (poplar, sometimes oak) was my base; it's why manufacturers created dark stain and paint. That said, we did tackle some huge projects and one that comes to mind was 2 stories worth of center staircase in a 100 year old Victorian that we owned - 80 period reproduction spindles of turning, a 10" diameter newel post, and many feet of 3" handrail (including volute) AND all 12/4 rough oak, on a 10" radial arm saw, 4" jointer, Craftsman lathe, and hand tools. The danger-quotient was ridiculous and I only wish I had some pictures because it was a showcase when we sold the house.
After a long career in high tech, I concentrate mostly on furniture commissions, custom cabinetry, and explore a myriad of turned vessels and art objects. Operating from a relatively small shop, I prefer to design from concepts and use precious materials that can be hand finished (as opposed to painted material) and selected to allow the natural grain of the wood to incorporate into the objects. The collage above represents a very small cross-section ranging from musical instruments, natural slabs, turnings, and art nouveau. My furniture interests range from traditional to contemporary and incorporate mixed materials like glass and integrated lighting at all types of scale.
I hope you enjoy a few of the pictures I've included and apologize in advance for my photographic skills!