Alan Hollar has been turning wood on the lathe since 1986. He is self-taught, being introduced to the medium when he needed to make replacement parts as a furniture restorer.
"I saw a photo of a bowl in a magazine and thought it was pretty cool…it seemed to have the potential for fun in it. The lathe was also the only woodworking application that no one else in my family did (all were involved in the furniture industry), so there was no one’s work to aspire to, and no intimidation! Turning wood is different from all the other forms of woodworking, similar to playing a musical instrument. You put in hours of practice, days and years learning the craft; the certain sound of the cut, the way the shavings look, observing profiles…all to internalize the techniques so that you can produce pieces ‘without thinking’. Turning wood is also similar to language in that you have a vocabulary: the more that you use it the more comfortable you become, the more facile. You also become more creative and more expressive within the parameters of the medium. I look for an elegance of line and form as these works happen…curves that transition sensibly and smoothly, sometimes including textures that complement or contrast a rugged rim or burl surface."
"My work is an intuitive process which is informed by years of experience at the lathe. However, some wood remains around the studio for many months as I walk by it and ideas germinate."
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