November 2001 - Al Stirt

Back in November 2001, Al Stirt came over from Vermont to demonstrate his methods
for bowl turning as well as discuss form, function, and technique.

I consider myself a "bowl maker" more than a wood turner because, although the turning process fascinates me, it is the resulting bowl that commands my interest. From the earliest times bowls have had meanings for people beyond the purely utilitarian. The bowl as vessel has a resonance deep within the human psyche. I have always thought of each piece that I make as a composition utilizing elements of pattern, line, weight, texture and form. Even in the most simple pieces I try to find a harmony of grain and shape. I seek a balance in my work between the dynamic and the serene. By playing with the tension created by combining the circle's perfection with the energy of pattern I am trying to make pieces that have life. I use patterns, whether created by grain structure or organic fluting & carving or repeated geometric shapes, to develop harmony in each of my pieces. I find myself always looking for a new means of expression within the turned form.

Alan Stirt


All photos by Mac Ray