Last night I attended a multi-axis turning demonstration given by Mark Sfirri at the Baltimore Area Turners club. What a treat! I wish I could have attended the other classes he was offering. Somehow, work seems to interfere with my playtime. I can’t find a decent formal definition of a multi-axis turning, so maybe this hyperlink will help. click here.
The Bucks County Artist website published the following about Mark: “Woodworker Mark Sfirri continually blurs the line separating woodturning from sculpture. Sfirri, who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, and his Master of Fine Arts from the same institution in 1978, was heavily influenced by his mentor Tage Frid, who encouraged the young Sfirri to use his primary tool, the lathe in new, creative ways. Sfirri uses the lathe to create conventional bowls and spindles which he then manipulates using multi-centered spindles, and a series of crosscuts; the resulting pieces combine concave and convex surfaces with curvilinear contours. Well known for his bold composition and meticulous attention to detail, Sfirri has collaborated on individual pieces with numerous other artists, including Michael Hosaluk and painter Robert Dodge.
Sfirri has taught at Bucks County Community College since 1981 as an Associate Professor of Fine Woodworking. He is a member of the Bucks Woodturners, the local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners, and has a studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Sfirri has published numerous articles in journals such as American Woodworker, and Fine Woodworking..”
Mark was a delightful presenter. Humorous and relaxed, he did a fine job of explaining the technical aspects of what he was doing in a very clear manner. He had enough time to make three objects for us. First he showed us how to make his famous candlestick.
It was fascinating to watch this being made. He made it look so easy. I really appreciate seeing someone with real skill who has the ability to think outside of the box.
The second object he made was an example of a pad foot table leg, then he made another object which I can only describe as a squiggle. When I get the chance. I think I will attempt the “squiggle” myself.
If you ever have the opportunity to see Mark Sfirri demonstrate, open the door when this opportunity knocks.