Artisans - Ron Overholtz
was born and raised in various beach towns in Southern California.
Several long backpacks in my early teens led me to realize
that the remote deserts and mountains of the Eastern Sierra
needed to be my true home. After several years of rock climbing
in Yosemite I moved to the high desert town of Bishop located
between the 14,000 foot Sierra Nevada and White mountains.
interest in wood began with several years making wine racks
and cabinets. In 1990 I bought my first lathe and fell in
love with the process of taking a solid piece of wet wood
and creating bowl and vessel forms. I am self taught with
the help of several videos and books. In 1992 I was fortunate
to attend the American Association of Woodturners national
symposium in Provo, Utah. I was inspired by the creativity
and innovation I saw from many world renowned wood artists.
I have attended several more symposiums since then.
have been selling my work at fine craft shows and galleries
since 1991. I travel throughout California and Nevada with
my wife Nancy, a wildlife watercolorist, to market my work.
I have articles and photographs published in the "American
Association of Woodturners Journal", "More Woodturning"
and the British magazine "Woodturning". When not in my studio
I hike, ski and climb in the mountains near home.
up on the Pacific Coast I have always been influenced by
Asian design. All cultures use the vessel form for practical
purposes. Most of my woodturnings explore the hollow vessel
object with and without a lid. The lidded pieces always
hold the promise of what might be concealed within. Most
of my pieces are created entirely on the lathe. This simple
machine allows for the rapid removal of wood to reveal the
final shape. It is a subtractive process of searching for
the final refined curve. This is the most demanding point
when a subtle shift in curve profile can make the difference
between a successful object and a rejected piece.
usually work on an intimate scale creating objects that
are best appreciated in the hand. The warmth and beauty
of the wood needs to compliment the tactile feels of the
vessel. I am drawn to the quietness and simplicity of the
I have been exploring the addition of surface texturing
and alternate materials such as stone and bamboo. I anticipate
future work to involve an ever widening vocabulary of sculptural
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