Susan Nutter did not begin her woodworking hobby as most hobbyists do. In fact, judging from her educational background, one might guess that Susan had never touched a saw, hammer, or Ornamental Mill in her life. She studied fashion and textile design at Drexel University, art and fashion illustrating at Spectrum Art Institute, and Chemical Engineering at Cornell University. She has also pursued surface design at Canzenovia College, Worchester Craft Center, Brookfield Craft Center and, at the graduate level, the University of Tennessee. She has studied under many of the nation's leading textile and fiber artists, independently researched surface designs and body embellishments in Africa, Seminole Indian patchwork in the Everglades, and she continues to self-teach and develop her skills in many other areas. Simply put, she is not your typical woodworker.
Despite what one might be thinking, however, Susan does have some background in the woodworking genre. Her brother is an industrial arts teacher, and her uncle does woodcarving reproductions for museums. Not to mention that, while she was growing up, her father kept a full woodworking and metal shop in the basement of their home. Unfortunately, though, she was never allowed near any of the tools because she was considered too "clumsy". Susan says that she has always found woodworking fascinating, and while she studied at the University of Tennessee, she spent much of her free time in the impressive woodshop there.
Susan happily describes herself as having "the attention span of a three year old". True to her nature, though diligently running her business - Opulent Silk and Tile - she found time to take on the challenge of restoring her home. On account of a few inept and dishonest contractors, Susan decided that it would be a lot easier "on her and her budget" to do the job herself. It was about that time that Susan and her husband went on a tour of Europe. Due to Europe's historically rich and diverse architecture, Susan was filled with hundreds of ideas for embellishments that she just had to included in her home. So there she was, a woman with no real experience in home restoration and hundreds of architectural possibilities. How was she ever going to accomplish her goal?
Fortunately, Susan had become acquainted with some of the personnel at a company with the unusual name of Phantom Engineering, Inc. She had become impressed with a machine that they had designed that allowed woodworkers to create ornamental designs with precision. This machine was just what she was looking for. It would allow her to add to her home the designs that she desired. Consequently she felt that now she had sufficient justification to purchase the unusually designed machine that was latter to become known as the Legacy Ornamental Mill.
Now, when asked about her Legacy Model 1500, Susan replies, "I love this machine! I went from not knowing what I was doing, to having people 'OOH and AAH' over my projects." In fact, after having only one month of experience on her machine, Susan was asked to build the archway of a neighbor's cabin! "No one believes that I do what I do on this machine." Susan has since built a number of projects for her home, including a rolling tool chest using Legacy's Southwest Blanket Chest design as a pattern, rope moldings for windowsills, and even an adaptation for her machine that produces a reciprocating motion.
Of course, using the Legacy was not always as easy for Susan as it might seem. She did not have much experience in assembling machinery (the fact that she is dyslexic did not help her situation). Despite the odds, however, Sus