©2019 by Rick Urban Wood Shaper.

In the beginning...

I turned my first bowl in 1959.  It wasn't much to behold, and didn't fare well over the years.

It wasn't until 2003 that I got hooked.  I was always drawn to wood, but didn't pursue working with it beyond cobbling together various projects with what  my local lumber yard had to offer.  In the interim I spent 20 of the next years flying jets and other aircraft and doing other odd jobs for the Air Force.  I also spent a decade and a half as a computer nerd programming and working with networks and database systems.  During most of this time I had a lathe and good intentions, but there is naught to show for those years in the wood turning arena.

Fast forward...

...to 2018 and I was looking back on 15 years of trying just about any turning project I encountered as well as the latest tools and techniques that promised to solve all my problems.  It was time to fish or cut bait.  I needed to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.

As I considered my future I came to realize my path had produced a broad, if not very deep, universe of possibilities. 

Today...

I consider myself a Shaper of Wood.  At some point I realized I was spending less time on the lathe and more time off the lathe, and I still called myself a wood turner.  It might be time to find a better fit between the label and what I was actually doing. 

 

 If my work successfully integrates the qualities in nature that resonate in all of us, I am confident you, too, will appreciate the results. 

I like wood!

It offers wonderful textures, patterns, and colors just as it comes from the forest.  With a little TLC it may become spectacular! 

 

I hope my work does not look exactly like that of anyone else, but if you think you see similarities there are good reasons.

A long time ago in a place far away Art Liestman introduced me to the lost wood process.  Not long after that Michael Kehs showed me that wood didn't have to be sanded and lacquered, and that wood burning and branding could produce some interesting results.

Later, after taking a closer aim at what I wanted to do when I grew up,  I took classes and worked with some great people who just happen to be world class artists.  Among them have been Jacques Vesery, Graeme Priddle, Melissa Engler, Peggy Schmid, and J. Paul Fennell.  Many others have inspired me by just seeing their work.

Inspiration...

...comes from all around me.  I grew up in the Arizona desert where dramatic textures abound, and

sunsets are more often than not, stunning.  I was fortunate, at the same time, to be able to explore the wonderful world of the ocean, its moods, tidal pools, the magic it revealed as the water disappeared twice daily.  The wide open spaces of Texas and the forests of the north Georgia mountains taught me to expect a delightful surprise in the most unexpected places.  The impressions and echoes of those experiences and more have been my artistic mentors and guide the forms I create.  I still turn traditional bowls and vessels, but transforming the inspirations of nature into something wonderful to see and touch is what I enjoy most. 

In the beginning...

I turned my first bowl in 1959.  It wasn't much to behold, and didn't fare well over the years.

It wasn't until 2003 that I got hooked.  I was always drawn to wood, but didn't pursue working with it beyond cobbling together various projects with what  my local lumber yard had to offer.  In the interim I spent 20 of the next years flying jets and other aircraft and doing other odd jobs for the Air Force.  I also spent a decade and a half as a computer nerd programming and working with networks and database systems.  During most of this time I had a lathe and good intentions, but there is naught to show for those years in the wood turning arena.

Fast forward...

...to 2018 and I was looking back on 15 years of trying just about any turning project I encountered as well as the latest tools and techniques that promised to solve all my problems.  It was time to fish or cut bait.  I needed to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.

As I considered my future I came to realize my path had produced a broad, if not very deep, universe of possibilities. 

Today...

I consider myself a Shaper of Wood.  At some point I realized I was spending less time on the lathe and more time off the lathe, and I still called myself a wood turner.  It might be time to find a better fit between the label and what I was actually doing. 

 

 If my work successfully integrates the qualities in nature that resonate in all of us, I am confident you, too, will appreciate the results. 

I like wood!

It offers wonderful textures, patterns, and colors just as it comes from the forest.  With a little TLC it may become spectacular! 

 

I hope my work does not look exactly like that of anyone else, but if you think you see similarities there are good reasons.

A long time ago in a place far away Art Liestman introduced me to the lost wood process.  Not long after that Michael Kehs showed me that wood didn't have to be sanded and lacquered, and that wood burning and branding could produce some interesting results.

Later, after taking a closer aim at what I wanted to do when I grew up,  I took classes and worked with some great people who just happen to be world class artists.  Among them have been Jacques Vesery, Graeme Priddle, Melissa Engler, Peggy Schmid, and J. Paul Fennell.  Many others have inspired me by just seeing their work.

Inspiration...

...comes from all around me.  I grew up in the Arizona desert where dramatic textures abound, and

sunsets are more often than not, stunning.  I was fortunate, at the same time, to be able to explore the wonderful world of the ocean, its moods, tidal pools, the magic it revealed as the water disappeared twice daily.  The wide open spaces of Texas and the forests of the north Georgia mountains taught me to expect a delightful surprise in the most unexpected places.  The impressions and echoes of those experiences and more have been my artistic mentors and guide the forms I create.  I still turn traditional bowls and vessels, but transforming the inspirations of nature into something wonderful to see and touch is what I enjoy most.