Michael Shuler | Goncalo Alves Bowl #732
|Biography Statement Ask the Artist|
Mike Shuler has been an independent studio artist since 1973. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia; the permanent collection of the American Craft Museum in New York City; and the High Museum in Atlanta. Shuler's work was featured in the Wall Street Journal in June,1991. His bowls have toured throughout Europe.
I have been working with tools and materials all my life. That was how I spent my time as a boy and I feel fortunate that I've been able to go through into adulthood with the continuity of a kind of a playful occupation from childhood.
What I'm doing now is not really that much different from when I was seven, I've just got some more possibilities open to me now and my projects do come out a little different than they did then. I started turning wood in 1964, when I was 14. I didn't know what a lathe was but I had some tools and I figured out that if I could get the wood spinning I could put my pocket knife to it and make it out. So that's what I did a lot of that winter, making miniatures out of birch dowels. And turning became my first love.
Mostly self-taught and self-employed over the years, I began this segmented work in 1985 as a beginning point of a technique/motif that will eventually allow me the means to give physical form to ideas that began in my mind in 1970. This will involve large, segmented, turned forms combined as single objects. Somehow there is an extraordinary beauty produced by all this. The technique provides a complex three-dimensional symmetry and the wood gives it a fluidity or a motion of it's own. My desire is just to present simple beauty that will feed the human spirit.
Where do you get the ideas for your work?
Do you work alone on your craft, or with others?
Do you ever teach, or take on apprentices?
What's the most exciting part of creating your works?
What's the most difficult part of creating your works?
What sort of technology do you use in your work? Has the technology of your craft changed dramatically over the past 100 years?
Do you have any advice for somebody just starting out?
Can you share a "secret of the trade" with us--something nobody else knows or that you found out only after years of experience? Put another way--what do you wish somebody had told you when you were just starting out that might have saved you hours of wasted effort?
What are we missing by experiencing your work through the Internet and not seeing/hearing/feeling/smelling/touching it in person?
|Michael Sherrill||Susy Siegele|