Birch Salad Bowls, Marble Ulu Knives, and Crafts from Haines Alaska

Welcome to Alaska River Works. John Norton: Wood Turner & Stone Carver.

In 1973 John graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Biology and soon left his home in Upstate New York with the lure of fighting wildfires in the Fairbanks area.   In the mid 1970's he worked on the Trans Alaska Pipeline from Prudhoe Bay south through the Brooks range and by  1976 had settled in Haines and built his first home.  Since then he has fished commercially for salmon, halibut and abalone and  also taught high school science on the Alaskan Peninsula, in the Aleutian Islands and in Juneau.  In 1999 John returned to Haines, worked for the Dept. of  Fish and Game, and built his current home.

In 2004 John acquired his first lathe and began his career in woodturning,  creating unique bowls, platters, pens, wine stoppers,  and artistic pieces from local birch.  John also makes traditional ulu knives using marble found in the river beds of the beautiful Chilkat Valley.  John is a member of the local fire department, serving as an engineer and is Captain of the Search and Rescue squad.  In his spare time John enjoys hiking and camping, skiing, exploring local geology, and of course fishing.