The Apple Bowl, open vessel turned from apple wood, Paul Adams
Introducing Turned Forms – Woodturning by the Chesapeake Woodturners
Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) and the Chesapeake Woodturners would like to present this all-woodturning exhibition. All original work by the Chesapeake Woodturners was created utilizing various methods of wood working and is presented in as many forms as can be taken from the medium – from bowls and plates, to swim caps and wine corkers.
Juror: David Fry
The woodworking career of David Fry spans more than 35 years, encompassing architectural and gallery turnings, speculative and commissioned furniture, and collaborations with designers, prototype developers, and ceramists. At one time, his thin-wall vessels sold through the museum shops of the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery and the Hudson River Museum, as well as two-dozen commercial retailers across the country. Recently, the Honolulu Museum of Art acquired one of his large bowls. Law offices and houses of worship, such as Washington National Cathedral, have numbered among his clients. His work has appeared in numerous large fairs like the National Craft Show and Baltimore Winter Market.
In addition to production, David has demonstrated, taught, curated, and written about his field. Demo venues have included the Smithsonian Craft Show, Strathmore Mansion, and the Bethesda Row Arts Festival. He has taught dozens of students individually at his home and led classes at Maryland Hall in Annapolis and VisArts in Rockville. Washington Woodworkers Guild, Montgomery County Woodturners, and Chesapeake Woodturners have invited him to juror their exhibitions, and he has written more than 30 articles for American Woodturner, Fine Woodworking, and the Crafts Report. David always enjoys judging shows in Annapolis, where talent and enthusiasm appear to be particularly plentiful.
What makes a work of fine woodturning original and memorable? Consider Bob Stocksdale, who in the 1950s and 1960s transformed the functional wood bowl by refining its shape, reducing its mass, polishing its surface, and most importantly, putting dramatic grain on display. Discerning patrons and museums took notice, and the “art bowl” spawned a new breed of collectors. Stocksdale wasn’t the first to place a sleek, unadorned wood bowl on a pedestal—other turners had experimented with its aesthetic potential—but he was arguably the first to popularize the idea, which still shines through many pieces in this show. Paul Adams’ George bowl in cherry is a good example.
In the decades that followed, an astonishing tapestry of innovative threads emerged in woodturning from the studios of David Ellsworth and John Jordan (hollow forms), Jean-François Escoulen and Mark Sfirri (eccentric, often humorous spindles), Merryll Saylan (added color), and many others. Their contributions have continued to grow and happily mutate in the works exhibited here. For instance, take a close look at the lines of Julie Schmidt’s exquisite turned box and Neal Kaske’s tipsy bottle stoppers.
- First Prize: Segmented Ribbon by Tim Moore. In this feat of legerdemain, Tim has unraveled the bowl—several bottomless ones, actually—by cutting each apart and swiveling the sections to link up impeccably in a freestanding sculpture. The twisting closed loop appears to create a fourth dimension of arcs and negative space. The segmented “drinking glass” forms in the mosaic create a sense of giddiness amid the cascading, seemingly random colors. Tim must feel a degree of kinship with Malcolm Tibbets and the late Bill Ooms, masters of wood ribbon sculpture.
- Honorable Mention: Undulation by Allen Alexopulos. The multi-spouted rim of this dramatic vessel evokes a splash, perhaps of ocean waves or an artesian well. It calls to mind Mark Lindquist’s Lapping Wavelet Bowl, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But the crisp edges and deep folds set apart Allen’s realization of motion.
- Honorable Mention: Maple Lamp With Birch Shade by Brad Best. Ever since Ron Kent discovered the translucence of backlit Norfolk Island pine bowls, turners have tried to convert thin wood vessels into lampshades. Here is Brad‘s harmonious take on lampshade and base, with meticulous cuts reducing wood to luminous membrane.
- Honorable Mention: Nestled by Rich Foa. What object is more potent or symbolic than an egg? A big egg! This study in white embodies both purity and fertility. Through multi-axis turning, Rich has hollowed and endowed a chamber with ritual significance. Other woodturning artists, like Curt Theobald, have also discerned wonders inside the egg.
- Honorable Mention: Blue Moon by Steve Haddix. While a legion of hollow-form turners have followed in the wake of David Ellsworth’s pioneering work, relatively few achieve the technical and aesthetic mastery reflected in this piece. Steve has streamlined the classical “pot” into a shimmering, curvaceous shell of cerulean ash. Perfection!
- Honorable Mention: Pierced Platter by Ken Lobo. Looking like a complex, perforated plate from a metalworking shop, this inscrutable feat of engineering captures the beauty of machined parts, now transformed in wood. The execution is flawless. It recalls the layered and pierced turnings of Hans Weissflog, the originator of the genre.
Overall, this show illustrates how works become memorable through their form, technical prowess, or wood qualities, even if they have antecedents. It also reveals how experimentation and outright invention are still alive and well. Chesapeake Woodturners continues to demonstrate its notable tradition of excellence.
—David Fry, Cabin John, MD
Segmented Ribbon by Tim Moore
Undulation by Allen Alexopulos
Maple Lamp With Birch Shade by Brad Best
Nestled by Rich Foa
Blue Moon by Steve Haddix
Pierced Platter by Ken Lobo
*Award contributors and recipients will also be listed in the exhibition catalog.
Information for Accepted Artists
November 1 First day of the exhibition
November 3 4-6pm reception. Awards presented at 5 pm.
November 30 – Dec 1 12-4pm pick-up
Pickup and Storage
- When the exhibit ends, unless specified otherwise, you may pick up your work no earlier than 3:00 pm on the closing day of the exhibit.
- You must pick up your work within 48 hours of the closing day of the exhibit, or notify the gallery if you will be late.
- Unless previous arrangements have been made, work placed in storage after announced pickup dates will be subject to a fine of $10.00 per piece, per week. Work left in storage longer than two (2) weeks shall become MFA property and may be disposed of, or used for fundraising purposes. There are no exceptions.
All work will be handled with all possible care, but pieces submitted for exhibition are at the artist’s risk. In the event of damage or theft, the MFA will not be held liable. If insurance is desired, the artist must carry it.
- All work entered into any exhibition must be for sale unless prior agreements are made, and marked either with a price or POR for Price On Request.
- The MFA will retain 30% from all sales
- Sale of artwork is taxable and all sales tax processing will be handled by the MFA.
- Sold artwork requiring shipment will be handled by the MFA with costs collected from buyer. Buyers will be asked if the work may be retained until the exhibit ends. If the buyer disagrees, the Gallery will let the work go, and the artist will be informed.
- The MFA asks that artists donate 20% from any sale made through a direct referral from the MFA within three months. All donations are used to help defray operating costs of the Maryland Federation of Art and are tax-deductible by the artists to the full extent of the law.