Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Rude Osolnik Portrait

Rude Osolnik

Born:
Dawson, New Mexico 1915

Died:
Berea, Kentucky 2001

Photo Caption:
Copyright unknown

Luce Artist Quote

“I am at peace with the world when working with wood. It offers me a chance to relax because all of my movements must be fluid in order to perform the task.” Rude Osolnik, Turning Points, 2001


Biography

Considered to be one of the fathers of contemporary wood turning in America, Rude Osolnik is something of a folk hero. Working in Kentucky, he creates robust forms from a variety of woods. Osolnik is noted for his ability to use figures in the wood he laminates, creating a signature look that emerges only as the work is turned.

Kenneth Trapp The Renwick at Twenty-Five (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, 1997) at http://www.americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/renwick25/index.html

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Rude Osolnik moved to Kentucky in 1937 to run an industrial arts program at Berea College. For more than forty years he began work at two in the morning so that he could spend four hours at the lathe before a day of teaching. Osolnik often gave small turned objects to family and friends, and his unique candlesticks, weed pots, and natural edge bowls quickly became recognized and sought after. He used simple proportions and clean lines to achieve what he described as a “perfect balance between material, purpose, and contour.”