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Artist Statement.

Stephen M. Olds - a turner of wood.

I am a retired Seattle native with no formal art training, but a love of the arts instilled by my mother.

After retiring from computer programming I turned to woodworking, and eventually discovered an instinctual talent in turning wooden bowls.

I use any and all woods but have found I have an emotional connection to figured (tiger) Maple, Myrtle and Elm - the texture, patterns and colors of each piece is unique and each has it's own story to tell.

When working on a new turning I need to be fully focused on the work, and when I find the zone I need to be in the wood tells me it's story and what it wants to be.

The turn of the grain, special features of the wood such as spalting and burl, even unsuspected 'flaws' such as voids, all contribute to the final result.


Some of my turnings are substantial and show a strong character, insisting on being handled and used in everyday life or in a formal setting.

...while others are turned so thin that they seem weightless, almost fragile at first look

Turning a bowl with sides as thin as 1/16 inch requires a mountain of patience, technique that flows like a river, and a release from all other thoughts outside of the bowl.


It is my meditation, when the only sound in my mind is the singing of the wood as it guides my hand and finds it's own vision.


I am a turner of wood, a savant of the wood, captivated and enamored with the trust it places in my hands.

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