Gordon Browning

Gordon Browning

About The Artist

Gordon Browning • Viola, WI

I make lathe-turned, blind-hollowed vessels. Each vessel is turned from a single log section—one piece, no segments. I favor clean, full-bodied curves, a small base, and a respect for the grain that suggests the log beneath. Hold a piece sideways, rock it, the change in angle should catch your breath. Vessel walls are uniformly thin for lightness and balance, and the hole at the top is finger-tip small. The finish--tung oil or beeswax--preserves the wood's natural look and invites touch.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My lathe is a now old Powermatic 3520A. For shaping I use a ground back U-shaped gouge; for hollowing I make my own tools following the Ellsworth prototype. I use bent wire as calipers for measuring wall thickness. Shaping. hollowing, and measuring can be seen on the Artist Demo video (3 minutes).

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Wood, hands down, is beautiful. And looking for wood has its own compulsions. To be clear, after Hurricane Wilma (2005), I have salvaged Cuban Mahogany logs from the piles of detritus on Alton Road, Miami Beach, and on a trip to Africa (2012) I have sorted through a cut-off pile for blocks of Wenge and Padauk at a sawmill in Libreville, Gabon.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

I like my shapes, and though they may vary considerably, any three pieces together make a family. I am also pleased with the way the wood grain seems to follow and enhance the form, as if on purpose. The small hole on top and the small base also receive some attention.