A long time ago any good woodworker was expected to know how to turn wood on a lathe. Nowadays it is a specialty that only a few care to pursue. I had been a woodworker for 20 years before I took up turning myself. It was a revelation! I began to relate to wood in new ways when I began working with trees and logs instead of kiln dried boards.
It is a wonderful experience to put sharp steel to the spinning green wood, I can feel the wood being cut through the tool. It is very tactile, and I can smell the wood as the shavings fly off the tool. As a bonus I get to stand still for a while when I do it!
A few of my pieces are done in exotic foreign hardwoods, ebony for instance, but nearly all of them are from local trees. There is a colonial era apple orchard very near my shop, I enjoy walking its hills in sunny weather to gather some of the gnarly old wood that has been pruned away to make for new growth. Much of my wood has come from trees blown over in the big storms of recent years, and some of it I have rescued from the firewood pile.