Sculptural Woodturning - an amazing medium and enjoyable art. Trees are magnificent, often living beyond several human lifetimes. When a tree dies, its inherent natural beauty can be an ongoing voice. I enjoy rescuing life-filled timber of fallen trees, revealing and expressing their beauty through playful exploration on the lathe, sculpting original forms for utilitarian and artistic appeal.
My hobby of collecting and memorizing quotes inspired the Pagoda Box series, my appreciation for the inimitable power of imagination inspired the Spirit Bird with captured spinning marble, and my fascination with the beauty and energy of the cosmos inspired turning and including large spheres. I enjoy creating geometric utilitarian bowls; imagine serving with a diamond bowl where the extended elegant wings remain visible, a pleasing presentation. And I enjoy surprising people with lidded vases containing hidden captured twirling marbles and stacked “Cairn” sculptural forms containing hidden boxes, some with orbiting marbles. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney & “The highest proof of spirit is love.” ~ Albert Schweitzer. I also enjoy turning elegant Burl and Natural Edge Art Bowls, and utilitarian round bowls. Simply, I strive for originality, mastery of technique and individual engagement.
Mike is a member of the American Association of Woodturners, Central Virginia Woodturners (VP & Program Director), Southern Highlands Craft Guild NC; Piedmont Craftsmen Guild NC; Staunton Augusta Art Center VA; and Artists in Cahoots Gallery, Lexington VA.
Recent exhibitions Include: Foundation Woodworks "Wood & Glass", Asheville NC. Staunton Augusta Art Center "Speaking With Wood" (VA), Southern Highlands Focus Gallery, "Fluidity & Geometrics" (NC), BlackRock Center for the Arts - "Handcrafted: Fiber & Turned Wood" (MD).
Gallery Exhibitions: Selections of Mike's body of work may be available for Gallery Exhibitions.
Beginnings: Primarily self-taught. In the fall of 2009, following a career in national sales and marketing, Mike took a weekend intro class in woodturning, loved it, set up his lathe studio, joined Central Ohio Woodturners (COW), and turned over 1000 bowls his first year while experimenting with large non-round shapes and natural edge forms. Upon seeing Mike’s large winged diamond forms COW asked Mike to provide his first educational woodturning demonstration, after which two experienced turners expressed humorous concern, “Mike, we think you’re turning these large crazy shapes because you don’t know what you’re not supposed to be doing!” Subsequently, Mike has been asked and continues to teach his turning methods for many of the over 300 American Association of Woodturner chapter clubs in the U.S.
Early inspiration: Growing up in the San Gabriel Mountains of California, Mike along with his parents and three brothers explored the mountains, deserts, forests, and spent countless glorious days on, in and under the Pacific waves. This foundational love of nature along with his Dad’s influence as a high school industrial arts teacher lead to an appreciation of trees, their inherent natural beauty, and eventually to the art of sculptural woodturning.
Best in Show, 2019 Arts in the Park, Staunton VA
Best in Show, Best in Class, 1st Place Free Form, 1st Place Lidded Box - 2019 Annual Woodturners Competition, Professional Division, Richmond VA
1st Place "Lidded Box", 1st Place "Free Form", 2nd Place "Bowl" - 2018 Annual Woodturners Competition & Exhibition, Professional Division, Richmond, VA
International Arts & Craft Design Awards: Certificate of Excellence 2017
Best in Show - VMRC Juried Art Exhibition 2017
First Place Wood & "Student's Choice Award" - Waynesboro Fall Foliage Art Show 2017
Second Place Sculpture - Bath County Art Show, Hot Springs, VA 2017
First Place 3D Sculpture - Rockbridge County Art Fair, Lexington, VA 2017
Second Place - Art in the Park, Staunton, VA 2017
Best in Show, 1st Place in Free Form, 1st Place in Lidded Box, 1st Place in Bowl - Annual Woodturners Competition & Exhibition, Richmond VA, Professional Division 2016
First Place Sculpture - Bath County Art Show, Hot Springs, VA 2016
First Place Wood - Fall Foliage Art Show, Waynesboro, VA 2016
First Place 3D - Rockbridge County Art Show, Lexington, VA 2016
First & Second Place Lidded Box; Third Place Free Form - Richmond Woodturners' Annual Turning Competition & Exhibition, Professional Division, Richmond, VA 2015
Third Place Sculpture - Bath County Art Show, Hot Springs, VA 2015
First Place 3D Sculpture - Rockbridge County Art Show, Lexington, VA 2015
First Place Lidded Box; First & Third Places Free Form - Richmond Woodturners' Annual Turning Competition & Exhibition, Professional Division, Richmond, VA 2014
First Place Sculpture - Bath County Art Show, Hot Springs, VA 2014
First Place 3D Sculpture - Rockbridge County Art Show, Lexington, VA 2014
First Place Lidded Box; Second Place Free Form - Richmond Woodturners' Annual Turning Competition & Exhibition, Professional Division, Richmond, VA 2013
Second Place Sculpture - Bath County Art Show, Hot Springs, VA 2013
Second Place 3D Sculpture - Rockbridge County Art Show, Lexington, VA 2013