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Piece of wood has personality

Sara Thompson
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune Malcolm Tibbetts with the wooden vase he created, which is up for bid on eBay. So far, more than $4,000 has been offered, and all the money will go to help fight cancer.
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Local segmented woodturning artist Malcolm Tibbetts is mixing his talents with video editing to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Tibbetts filmed and edited a video titled “Seggy’s Dream.” The video depicts a piece of wood named Seggy. She wants to be a part of the artwork Tibbetts produces in his wood shop. Seggy is determined to attain her goal, and she defies all odds to survive. The vase she becomes a part of is being auctioned on eBay, with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

“This is my way of using a little symbolism with a piece of wood to get a message out there,” Tibbetts said.

As of Wednesday, the top bid on eBay was $4,250, and the video had 2,589 hits on YouTube. The auction ends Sunday.

“It’s a small, simple vessel for what I’m known for,” he said. “I’d have been thrilled with $2,000. This is really cool.”

Tibbetts said both his parents died of cancer. His wife, Tere Tibbetts, has beaten cancer two separate times.

“In our family we all know what cancer is,” Malcolm Tibbetts said.

The Tibbetts’ two children, Cristie and Andy, were cast in the film, too.

“It was a lot of fun to have the whole family involved,” Tere Tibbetts said.

Tere Tibbetts said she helps her husband in the shop occasionally. “Sometimes he needs more than two hands,” she said.

The video came about through Malcolm Tibbetts’ class project, he said. He took a class last quarter at Lake Tahoe Community College on film editing taught by Ryan Blocher. The class will be offered again next quarter.

Tere Tibbetts said her husband wrote the script while they were in New Zealand in the fall. He missed a few classes while traveling, and he mailed the script to Blocher.

Malcolm Tibbetts said without a huge resource such as Blocher, the video wouldn’t have materialized. Blocher asked his father, Steve Blocher, if he would play the guitar music for the video.

Steve Blocher said he wrote all the different themes for the characters in the video. He said it’s great how well the auction is doing.

Donating his artwork for charity isn’t uncommon for Malcolm Tibbetts. Over the years, he’s given art to Tahoe Youth and Family Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates and other organizations for fundraisers.

Even though Tibbetts hasn’t been woodturning professionally for his whole life, his experience goes back to his childhood.

Ever since he was a kid, he’s worked with wood. His grandfather owned a wood shop, so working with the medium comes naturally to him.

Tibbetts said he has practiced segmented woodturning for 15 years as a serious hobby, and for almost five years as an artist.

The hobby took off after he married Tere, he said. They scraped together enough money for their house but couldn’t afford furniture. He bought a cheap table saw and crafted the tables and chairs for their new home.

Since he had all the woodworking tools, the hobby evolved from there, he said.


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