Derek Ecker was looking for a new creative outlet after retiring from the army in 2002. He found that woodturning was just the right artistic activity. He started out with turning wood into pens, bowls, and hollow forms. Introduced to maple burl by his uncle, Derek fell in love with the live natural edge of maple burl and decided to concentrate solely on that species. Derek continues to educate himself by attending wood turning symposiums across the country. He is especially grateful to Johannes Michelsen, Cindy Drazda, Dale Nish, and Stewart Batty for teaching him their techniques and styles.