Best Guy to Turn Your Wood

Richard Steppic

No, that's not a double entendre. Richard Steppic used to make the Space Needle–shaped pepper grinders sold in tourist gift shops around town. But he gave that up to focus on his greater talent, the ability to take a vague request for a wooden pepper mill or bowl, with instructions like "I don't know, something modernish," and turn it into a piece of highly utilitarian art. Steppic says he took up woodcarving in his retirement as a hobby and found he had a gift for it. Now nearly every surface of his Normandy Park home is covered with wooden creations, from perfectly smooth, round, decorative balls to massive salad bowls. Though he does have other interests. An entire cupboard is given over to his massive, impressively international beer stein collection. —Laura Onstot 241-8673, [This item has been corrected since it was first published. It originally said Steppic currently makes the official Space Needle pepper grinders. Those are now created by Les Johnson of Milton, Wash.]

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