Alumnus Bob Newton ('72) has carved a niche in the art world. His bowls of stacked exotic wood rings, inlaid with a penny at the bottom, have been spotlighted in Lakeshore Living magazine and garnered awards at art and woodworking shows.

Former UW-Stout roommate John (Jack) Schindhelm ('71) chips in his expertise while working with Bob and creates remarkable pieces of his own, like a custom boat toy box that can be converted into a boat bookcase. Now retired from teaching technology education to high schoolers, they share their woodworking methods with teachers at education conferences, and Jack serves of the Northeast Wisconsin Education Association board of directors.

Bob draws on techniques he learned during high school in Frankfurt, Germany (where his Army father was stationed), and UW-Stout technology education instructors.

At UW-Stout, he learned to research, problem-solve and adapt that knowledge to new situations and products. Those skills have been put into action while perfecting his process. After using a traditional lathe that left too much scrap wood, he found the Ring Master, a precision machine that cut circular, stackable pieces of wood with little waste. Then he mixed multiple wood types to add pizzazz to his designs.

Jack credits UW-Stout for his own success. "UW-Stout gave me a chance as a struggling high school student to prove myself. I obtained the skills necessary to not only be a good teacher, but also to survive in the industrial world of work."

Their wisdom and friendship sticks with them. Bob says, "What I loved most about UW-Stout were all the knowledgeable and helpful instructors and making lifelong friends like Jack."

See their amazing bowls at