Bill Haskell

Since his early years, Bill has had a keen interest in creative expression. He has pursued that interest in many mediums, including silver jewelry and metal sculpture, but mainly in wood. His first encounter with woodturning was in Junior High wood shop, where a few bowls were turned using terrible tools with no instruction. However, this woodturning experience intrigued him and in 1989, a latent interest in woodturning was rekindled after he bought an old secondhand Dunlap lathe from a friend. Since that time, Bill has become an avid and active woodturner. He feels challenged in a new and exciting way by the artistic and technical avenues into which this medium has expanded. Artistic expression in turned wood has exploded in the last 25 years, and Bill is enthusiastically a part of this creative direction.

Bill is largely self-taught, but he has attended numerous woodturning symposiums and demonstration classes over the years. At these demonstrations, renown professional and inter-national turners teach their techniques and woodturning principles, as well as design concepts. These have been an invaluable educational source for Bill.

Mentoring numerous turners in his workshop, demonstrating woodturning techniques to various chapters and other venues, and exhibiting at local art shows and in several galleries are some of the woodturning activities in which Bill has been involved. The Home & Garden Channel (HGTV) filmed him on the lathe and performing the biomorphic piercing work he incorporates into some of his pieces.

Natural elements found in timber (some might say imperfections) are often used to advantage by Bill in his work. Such features as bark inclusions, unusual figure, distressed areas, spaulting (which is the initial stage of decomposition), natural edges, and sapwood/heartwood color contrast are often employed to achieve striking and unusual character in combination with complementary form.

In his turning, Bill seeks to explore form composition in turned objects, often with woods that offer rich figure, color, and unusual character. While finished wood is a warm, sensuous, inviting, and tactile material, creating a beautiful form in each piece is a primary objective. His ultimate goal is to create an appealing shape that is complementary with the distinctive quality of the wood used in each one-of-a-kind studio piece.

In more recent years, Bill has used carved and/or pierced designs to enhance his pieces after the lathe work is complete. In most of these cases, a less dramatic wood is used to minimize competition between the natural character of the wood and the carved or pierced design.