NEW MASTERS OF WOODTURNING
Expanding the Boundaries of Woodturning
Joseph M. Herrmann
1882 St. Rt. 45, No.
Rock Creek, Ohio 44084
INTRODUCTION: Dale Nish wrote Master Woodturners and when it was published in 1986, it was one of the first times that anyone attempted to document the procedures used by the finest turners in the United States and England at the time. Dale used black and white photographs to illustrate, step by step, the techniques used to produce their signature pieces and it was probably the closest that most amateur turners would ever get to this august group. Symposiums as we know them today were just getting started and the American Association of Woodturners had not yet been officially formed when Dale wrote the book.
Featured were nine turners (they were yet to be called artists) and included David Ellsworth, Ray Key, Mark Lindquist, Melvin Lindquest, Ed Moulthrop, Rude Olsolnik, Richard Raffan, Al Stirt, and Jack Straka.
That was then, but this is now. Turning is currently undergoing a transition from purely functional items made with the lathe as the principal tool and the grain of the wood as the primary focus. Today, the lathe might be the first machine employed by the artist but the work now undergoes significant manipulation using many other tools. For example, the wood is textured, burned, carved, re-cut and painted and the final result might bear little resemblance to the original form that came off the lathe. The field is fraught with many innovative techniques and procedures that are fast becoming the norm and the artists featured in New Master Woodturner's are on the cutting edge of the movement.
AUTHOR CREDENTIALS: The authors, Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace, have impeccable credentials and both are seriously involved the wood art field. For example, Terry Scott has been a professional wood artist for over twenty years and has written over 200 articles that have been published in twelve journals in seven different countries. Kevin Wallace has curated exhibits for many prestigious galleries and museums and has written seven previous books, one being "River of Destiny: The Life and Work of Binh Pho".
ARTISTS INCLUDED: The full color, 216 page, hardcover book features thirty-one respected artists who are pushing the boundaries and are defining the evolution of woodturning from functionality to art. A brief historical background is provided for each of the different artists that provides an insight into their inspirations and philosophies, discusses where they were trained and who were their influences, describes where and how they work, and includes several gallery photographs of current and past works.
There are some familiar and not so familiar names from around the world and include fourteen Americans, two Australians, three Canadians, two New Zealanders, one South African, four Frenchmen, two Germans and two Brits. Featured are: Marilyn Campbell, Virginia Dotson, Harvey Fein, J. Paul Fennell, Ron Fleming, Liam Flynn, Mark Gardner, Dewey Garret, Louise Hibbert, Michael Holsaluk, Peter Hromek, Steven Kennard, Ron Layport, Mike Lee, Alain Milland, Thierry Martenon, Michael Mode, William Moore, Rolly Munro, Christophe Nancey, Binh Pho, Graeme Priddle, Vaugh Richmond, Marc Ricout, Betty Scarpino, Neil Scobie, David Sengel, Hayley Smith, Butch Smuts, Jacques Vesery, and Hans Weissflog.
FINAL THOUGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: New Master Woodturners introduces the reader to current trends and modern innovations as well as providing a historical perspective on the woodturning movement that strives to introduce contemporary woodturning to a wider audience.
It isn't often that I sit down and read a new book from cover to cover in one evening. However, this is what happened when I picked up New Master Woodturners. Perhaps I am a dinosaur in the contemporary woodturning field in that I am still drawn to and prefer unadorned and un-manipulated forms and turnings where functionality is still important. However, I recognize that things are changing and I can respect that. New Masters of Woodturning is recommended to every turner who even has a passing interest in new trends and for those who are looking for new inspirations. Just the photographs of current works and those depicting the artist at work alone justify purchase.
Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace. New Master Woodturning. Fox Chapel Publishing, 2008. 216 pages, hard and soft cover $29.95, ISBN #: 978-1-56523-334-8 (paper); 978-1-56523-375-1 (hardcover)
This just published book is a treasure that we believe you will want to own. The authors have selected 31 leading woodturning artists and bring you into their studios where they share techniques and the creative processes behind their deisgns. Artists such as Virginia Dodson, Binh Pho, Harvey Fein, Paul Fennell, and Marilyn Campbell are among those whose works are given studio-quality photographic treatment.
It is a large format book (8 1/2' x 11") with a wealth of stunning full color inmages.
In this upcoming collection of furniture pieces that have redefined the limits of shaped wood, crafters and designers alike are treated to a wealth of knowledge from 31 leading wood artists who share their personal motivations, thought processes, and the studio techniques employed to bring out the breath-taking beauty of wood. Contemporary artists such as Virginia Dodson, Binh Pho, Harvey Fein, Paul Fennell, and Marilyn Campbell are among those whose works are given studio-quality photographic treatment. Each featured piece encourages crafters to find new ways of connecting with their own creative channels and makes this book an important document of the modern craft.
-Judson Randall of Oregon, professional editor of Wood Turning Center publications, with more than 40 years of newspaper experience. Book available at www.woodturningcenter.org/shop/ or call 215.923.8000.
"New Masters of Woodturning - Expanding the boundaries of art"
By Judson Randall
In the introduction to their new book "New Masters of Woodturning," an extraordinary compendium of sketches of wood-turning artists, authors Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace say they are inspired by and appreciative of the "willingness of everyone to share their ideas, techniques and joy in what they do."
Now we, the viewers, writers, collectors, curators, students and makers involved in the lathe-turned art field should feel appreciation and inspiration because of how Martin and Wallace have provided contemporary detail and insight into these 31 international artists and their work.
Martin, of Brisbane, Australia, is a turner and sculptor whose work has been in scores of exhibitions and in dozens of collections, public and private. He is a curator, lecturer and writer involved in the field over many years. His 1995 book, "Wood Dreaming," is the only documentation of Australian woodturners. Until 2006, he was a writer for and editor of "Turning Points," the Wood Turning Center's unique journal of the lathe-turned art field.
Wallace of Los Angeles is a board of directors member of Collectors of Wood Art and an advisory board member for the Handweavers Guild of America. A curator of many California exhibitions and a writer on the contemporary art field, Wallace is the author of seven previous books, including biographical expositions of artists and examinations of trends in contemporary craft art. He was associated with del Mano Gallery in Pasadena for many years.
Their book picks up where previous chroniclers of artistic woodturning - Dona Z. Meilach in 1976, Dale Nish in 1985 and the growing coverage of the field by "Fine Woodworking" -- left off.
Today, there are several publications that cover the lathe-turned art field, including the American magazine "Woodwork", the "American Woodturner", and the Wood Turning Center's "Turning Points" as well as its exhibition books documenting its breakthrough "challenges" and other exhibitions.
However, "New Masters" is a singular catalog of the lives, educations, artistic approaches and techniques of a broad international selection of the artists who will do for the 21st century what the old masters did for the 20th. Martin and Wallace pay tribute to the founders of the modern lathe-turning field, including David Ellsworth, Stephen Hogbin, Bob Stocksdale, James Prestini, Mark Lindquist, Ed Moulthrop, Rude Osolnick, Al Stirt, Ray Key and Richard Raffan.
As a testament to their energy and scope, the authors cast a broad net, bringing in the artists from nine countries on the continents of North America, Europe, Africa and Australia. Each of these artists' works is not just representative of his or her country but examples of the cultural influences of the continent or region in which they make art.
For example, Virginia Dotson, whose laminated and layered works reflect her Arizona domain. "I am intrigued by the features of the landscape and what they reveal about the past," she said.
"New Masters" is lavishly illustrated with photographs of the artists, their surroundings, their shops, and selected studio photographs of their works, as well as explanatory photographs of many of their techniques. The photographs are either supplied by the artists or shot by a variety of other photographers.
Among the expository technical photographic layouts is the illustrative sequence on how Peter Hromek, a Czech who moved to Germany, created the multiple-axis "Paradise," a sensual three-lobed work, in 2007.
We readers are treated to Martin's and Wallace's explorations of many aspects of the artists included in this catalog of the "New Masters." We learn, for example, what inspires the makers and how they came to engage in their artistic pursuits:
To take one, we learn that William Moore, an Oregon artist who combines spun metal with his wood forms and sculptures, is one of few art-school- educated turners. A sculptor by education, he was inspired by Henry Moore and design movements such as Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and Bauhaus.
And Michael Hosaluk of Saskatchewan, Canada, describes his beginnings as: "I was born among people who use their hands." His inspirations, we learn, include the "art of unknown artists from ancient cultures whose work lives on in museums."
A second exploration that Martin and Wallace bring to us is the artists' current approaches to their works, what informs their expressive intent and their way of carrying it out.
For example, Ron Layport of Pittsburgh, who, like Hosaluk, is inspired by "works made a thousand years ago that speak of personal struggle, daily life, mystery and ceremony," tells the authors that he approaches his highly sculptural works "like a canvas. Even though I know what I am hoping to achieve, I try to be receptive to opportunities and changes of direction as they present themselves."
And yet, we are told about Hayley Smith's approach to her intricately textured and surface-sculpted works: The Arizona artist who spent most of her life in Wales, told Martin and Wallace - referring to wood -- that "I like the challenge of finding the balance between its existing character and what I can add to it. It is, after all, not a blank canvas."
The third exploration that Martin and Wallace share with us readers is the artists' techniques for achieving their completed work.
Many viewers of lathe-turned art, which can often hide its lathe-turned origins, look at a sculpture and say to themselves, "How did she do that?" Practitioners and hangers-on in the lathe-turned art world always want to discern the processes that lead to the expression, even though the artists might want the final product to be the only voice speaking.
The significant achievement of "New Masters of Woodturning" is that, in many cases, it exposes the tricks and techniques that produced the final, resolved work.
Besides the sidebar layout of Peter Hromek's creation of "Paradise," the book gives us, for example, an explanation of how Louise Hibbert, a British artist who now lives in Virginia, achieves her expression of natural beauty in a piece that comes to be the balance and form of an apparent seed pod.
On the whole, "New Masters of Woodturning - Expanding the Boundaries of Wood Art" is a valuable reference and a delight to read. The writing is straight-forward and clear and it brings to life the artists who are blazing new trails for wood turners of all levels of ability.
The book also includes a glossary, a list of wood turning organizations, and a list of further readings.
Judson Randall of Oregon is a professional editor and writer with more than 40 years experience on newspapers and is editor of Wood Turning Center publications.
The depth, texture, and sensuality of wood in the hands of artists transforms our static notions of wood in this book. As you would desire to hold, to stroke, to peer into and through each piece in this volume, you will also return many times to this book to discover new meanings for "resonance" and "movement". If this book was a food, it could be toasted artisan bread with ivy honey and melting butter.
The depth, texture, and sensuality of wood in the hands of artists transforms our static notions of wood in this book. As you would desire to hold, to stroke, to peer into and through each piece in this volume, you will also return many times to this book to discover new meanings for "resonance" and "movement." If this book was a food, it could be toasted artisan bread with ivy honey and melting butter.
This is an amazing collection that will inspire many a wood turner and is a "must have" for any woodworkers' library.
Book Picks by the Editors
New Masters of Woodturning
A collection of groundbreaking work from
31 masters including noted
Canadian turners Michael
Hosaluk, Stephen Kennard and Marilyn Campbell
. Discusses their signature styles and exciting new techniques
. Gallery of 396 superb photos
. 216 pages, 8 1.2" x 11"
. ISBN: 1565233344
Available from: www.Amazon.ca or order through your local bookseller
New Masters of Woodturning is an awesome source of inspiration showing really great artwork around the world. Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace really have succeeded in selecting some masters of contemporary woodturning of this time. Excellent book which I think could be great for everyone interested in contemporary woodturning as well as artists in different mediums.
In 1985, Dale Nish published 'Master Woodturners' to celebrate the innovative leaders of the field. Authors Martin and Wallace have jumped ahead a generation to showcase new artists, new technologies and new works of art. From Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States, thirty-one wood artists show their finest efforts and talk freely about influences, design ideas, lifestyles and where they are headed in the future.
Much of this new work is highly sculptural, but as Ron Layport puts it, "The turned form must be valid before I proceed with sculpting." In the Introduction, the authors say, "Much of the wood art in this book inverts the truism that turned work is round. The lathe is merely the beginning, with additional off-lathe processing to come."
The technical challenge in producing these works is amazing. Several turners show a series of photos on how they work: hollowing on three axes using wedges and straps to mount an irregular burl, or steaming and bending turned work over a curved form.
(translation) In NMWT two people who are profoundly knowledgable about the field lead us on a journey....
It makes you want to turn: it creates the desire and mood to set free your own creativity without the need to look back at the limits of conventional turning. There are many technical books available about turning today, but just as important is a feeling for form, structure and color. For those with less English, we can thank the rich photos......
The people behind the work are also described and through glimpses into their workshops and methods we learn more ....
The authors show us that turning today can be much more than the form of a spinning piece of wood ....
For me, the portraits of these wood artists and the glimpses into their lives make this wonderful publication the most beautiful book on turning in recent years.
Himself a wood artist, Martin is also a curator and commentator on the art, while Wallace is a curator and writer with a broader portfolio of contemporary art in craft media. They profile 31 contemporary artists and their work from Europe, North America, Oceania, and South Africa. The color photographs are of the high technical and aesthetic quality appropriate for an art book. There is no index.
31 contemporary woodturning artists from around the globe are featured in New Masters of Woodturning. The book highlights their works and offers a look at some of their techniques. I think it is cool the way the book introduces the reader to the artists by showing some of them in their shops or homes and by learning about their inspirations, philosophies and approaches to woodturning and sculpture. The book provides a gallery of photographs showing really neat vessels, bowls, platters and more.
Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace tell the stories of 31 international artists in New Masters of Woodturning: Expanding the Boundaries of Wood Art (Fox Chapel Publishing, $29.95). Individual profiles explore the technical and creative aspects of the artists' mostly sculptural work, along with their experiences, styles and studio techniques. The introduction gives a historical overview of the wood turning movement, making it a must-have resource.
New masters of woodturning; expanding the boundaries of wood art.
Martin, Terry and Kevin Wallace.
Fox Chapel Publishing, 2008 197 p. $29.95 TT201978-1-56523-334-8
Himself a wood artist, Martin is also a curator and commentator on the art, while Wallace is a curator and writer with a broader portfolio of contemporary art in craft media. They profile 31 contemporary artists and their work from Europe, North America, Oceania, and South Africa. The color photographs are of the high technical and aesthetic quality appropriate for an art book. There is no index. (Annotation 2009 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)
About the Authors: Terry Martin is a wood artist, curator and commentator on wood art. During the last 20 years, he has taken part in 80 exhibitions in seven countries and his work is part of many large private and public collections devoted to wood art. Martin is the author of Wood Dreaming, published in 1995, the only book ever produced on Australian woodturning. From 1999 to 2006, Martin was editor-inchief of the woodturning journal, Turning Points, the only journal dedicated solely to wood art, and is currently a contributing editor to Woodwork magazine. Martin has written more than 200 articles on wood art published in 12 journals in seven countries. Kevin Wallace is an independent curator and writer,
focusing on contemporary art in craft media. He is a member of the board of directors of Collectors ofWood Art and on the advisory board of the Handweavers Guild of America.He is a contributing editor for American Woodturner and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot and a regular contributor to Craft Arts International (Australia) and Woodturning magazine (England),writing about contemporary art in craft media (wood, ceramic and fiber) and wood artists.Wallace is the author of seven previous books.
About the Book: Meet 31 contemporary artists pushing the boundaries of a classic craft.They are from different parts of the world, but share a common passion: turning wood into sculptural forms of self-expression. In this groundbreaking book, 31 innovative artists-the New Masters of Woodturning- share their amazing turning techniques and the inspiration that fuels their distinctive designs. You'll see each artist at work- in their studios, homes and at the lathe-and discover why their stunning work is considered to be preeminent in the respective fields of woodturning and modern art. A gallery of beautiful photographs displaying breathtaking vessels, bowls, platters and more-many of which have never been published-accompanies each profile. This book looks beyond the surface of the wood and into the vision and mind of the artist, providing insights that offer a captivating and important perspective of turn-of-the-century art and craft. The global roster includesVaughn Richmond and Neil Scobie of Australia; Michael Hosaluk, Stephen Kennart and Marilyn Campbell of Canada; Louise Hibbert and Hayley Smith of England; Alain Mailland,TheirryMartenon, Christophe Nancey and Marc Ricourt of France; Peter Hromek and Hans Weissflog of Germany; Liam Flynn of Ireland; Rolly Munro and Graeme Priddle of New Zealand; Butch Smuts of South Africa; andVirginia Dotson, Harvey Fein, J. Paul Fennell, Ron Fleming, Mark Gardner, Dewey Garrett, Ron Layport, Michael Lee, Michael Mode,WilliamMoore, Binh Pho, Betty Scarpino,David
Sengel and JacquesVesery of the United States.
The woodturner Liam Flynn is the first of 31 artists from ten countries profiled in a new book on contemporary turned wood art. New Masters of Woodturning by Terry Martin and Kevin Wallace features artists who are pushing the boundaries and defining the evolution of woodturning from functionality to art. A brief historical background of each of the different artists provides an insight into their inspirations and philosophies, discusses where they were trained and who were their influences, describes where and how they work, and includes several gallery photographs of current and past works. New Masters of Woodturners introduces the reader to current trends and modern innovations as well as providing a historical perspective on the woodturning movement. The book has been the catalyst for a series of exhibitions featuring the artists in the book. The first is to be held in Minnesota in June 2008, with a further exhibition planned for Canberra, Australia, 2009, and an exhibition that will travel to Europe under development for 2009-2010.
This book showcases 31 different artists who redefined the limits of shaped wood. Each artist shares their personal motivations, thought processes and the studio techniques employed to bring out the breath-taking beauty of wood. Artists featured include Binh Pho, J. Paul Fennell, and Marilyn Campbell. This beautiful book, written by Kevin Wallace,
is sure to become a treasure in every woodturning library.