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Gary Hawley

Gary Hawley

Woodworking & Turning

Life is an adventure and so, for me, is woodturning. Learning new skills is the adventurous part for me. There is a multitude of possible ways to turn and embellish a container made of wood and….and what? Good question. Being sensitive to issues of cultural appropriation, conservation of resources and health are the major limitations. With some effort they can be taken into account without creating significant roadblocks to incorporating new ideas and techniques into my work. Metal reactive paints, pyrography,
burning with a torch, acrylic paints, epoxy resins, metal foils…if it’s fun and safe I’ll try it. I am not a production turner so cost effectiveness is not a concern for me. When I become reasonably adept at one skill I move on to another, or use new and old on the same piece.

Currently I am working on a bowl inspired by reading a biography of the artist, Robert Irwin. I have spent countless hours figuring out how to create a rim on a platter or bowl that adds to the appeal of the container without detracting from its form, be that bowl or platter. Should the rim be flat, slightly curved, what ratio should it have to the center? These questions are predicated on a classic definition of a container. What if I decorate the center of the bowl and the outside surfaces, traditionally left with only a sealer of some kind, while the rim remains untouched? What could such a bowl contain? Is it even still a bowl at all? When I have completed the “bowl” (I have turned it but not yet decided on decoration) I will be curious to see how viewers respond. Whatever the result, this is an adventure for me and I am having a good time asking new questions?

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