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 Gary Scarpulla's  

Woodturning Gallery

gary carvingWelcome to my Wood Turning Gallery. All works contained within are my own unique creations. When an item is purchased from this gallery, the new owner will see that it is signed with the pen name “Scar” and also dated. I classify the type of wood turning I produce as art, not intended for utilitarian use. I will, however, custom wood turn utilitarian vessels/bowls upon request. A visitor of my gallery will find a variety of pieces such as hollow forms, vases, decorative bowls and boxes, and my favorite sculptures which combine wood turning and mechanical wood carving. Other forms of embellishment such as wood burning, texturing, and piercing are also used. If a question arises about one of the wood turnings or techniques used or a price  on an item, please feel free to contact me via the contact page.


I have always been interested in art. From a young age, I have been hollow form involved in some sort of art form. Acrylic and oil painting, carpentry, photography, jewelry, and hair are the medias I have worked in. Yes, I spent a decade as a hair stylist, which from my prospective, is an art form. Currently I am an integrated circuit designer via the use of cad programs. I consider circuit design an art form also, however governed by rules. Wood turning, on the other hand, and like most other media, has no rules governing what I can create; to me the possibilities are endless.

basket weave hollow form I was introduced to wood turning in the summer of 2002 during a ten week sabbatical by my good friend Sean Troy. Sean invited me to an AWA monthly meeting in August of that summer. That’s all it took: one wood turners' meeting and I was hooked. The following day I was purchasing my first wood turning lathe and related accessories.

basket weave hollow form There were, however, some basics I had to learn about wood turning; and the best resource for this information is through wood turning associations. I am currently a member of the AWA (Arizona Woodturners Association), AAW (American Association of Woodturners), OTI (Ornamental Turners International), SOT  (The Society of Ornamental Turners). The AWA is my local wood turning association and the AAW is a national/international level organization in which the local is nested. There are benefits to becoming a member beyond just information exchange. Please visit both websites for these associations found on my links page for more information. The remaining  associations OTI and SOT are associated with members interested in ornamental woodturning. Ornamental woodturning involves the use of wood turning pattern- generating machines which are a touch more complex than the basic wood turning lathe. I own a Charles Field Rose Engine circa 1925. A simpler form of ornamental wood turning can be practiced with this type of machine as opposed to the much more complex and expensive Holtzapffel ornamental lathe. Links to more information about ornamental wood turning and other woodturning artists are also located on my links page.

Enjoy your visit looking through my woodturning gallery or as some mighthollow vessel say, fine art wood turning gallery. Wood Turned Art makes a wonderful gift for yourself or someone special. If you have a certain/special shape in mind, contact me via the contact page and lets see if we can make something that is unique to you. Feel free to come back to my wood turning gallery as often as you like. Gary Scarpulla

Information: Ornamental turning has been practiced for over 400 years. But, the history of turning goes back much farther than that. The art of plain turning is known to have been practiced for at least 3500 years, with gradually increasing improvement from simple woodturning devices to modern engineering. 1500 years before the birth of Christ, Egyptians were using simple lathes. The wood lathe is without question the oldest machine. Interestingly (for the philosophical turners among us - are there any who aren't?) the lathe is also the only machine capable of reproducing itself, although modern computers are beginning to approach that capability. (For an interesting digression, see the article by Simon Schaffer on the alliance of OT manufacturers, particularly Holtzapffel, with Charles Babbage. Mr. Babbage, of course, developed the world's first analytical engine, the first mechanical computer. Holtzapffel helped make it happen.) The lathe made possible the production of the required precision parts used in steam engines and later, electric motors. Without the invention of the lathe, no Industrial Revolution could have occurred. Others may argue that certain other mechanical contrivances were equally as important to mankind's progress, but most of those contrivances were probably made in whole or in part on a lathe. Lathes are even capable of producing music! (the armonica.)

Egyptian tombs contain turned artifacts, and some turners in today's third- world countries still turn wood using the techniques supposed to be used back in the dim dawn on woodturning history. This technique is essentially pulling a cord wrapped around work (supported between two fixed centers) back and forth, thereby rotating the work so a sharp-edged cutter could be applied. This was often a two-man operation.

gary at the LatheFrom Egypt, woodturning spread to other Mediterranean countries, especially Greece and Rome. Pliny the Elder, a Roman scholar, credits Theodorus (560 B.C.) of Samos Island (near Turkey) as the inventor of turning, but with today's archaeological evidence we know it is much older. In Greece and Rome, the geometric symmetry of turned work was truly appealing, and examples abound extent today. From these great civilizations, the art of turning spread to other European countries, and somewhere along the line the turners tired of sitting on the ground to get their work done. They decided to raise the work off the ground so that they could stand as they turned (no doubt to keep a better eye out for Viking invaders). In addition, the standing position leaves both hands free to control the cutter. Before 1700, pole lathes and tree lathes were in use throughout Europe. The word lathe derives from the word lath, or pole. (Source: Wikipedia)    

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