Bala Cynwyd, PA
Scott A. Foster is a master woodturner who makes magic on the lathe. His original designs come to life in segmented and solid wood bowls using various domestic and exotic woods. He spends his days as an electrical engineer and his evenings and weekends as an artist. Scott spends his free time at the roller skating rink, where he competes in dance and figures regionally and nationally. Scott’s work is sold online and at local art shows and galleries. He is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and its Segmented Woodturners chapter.
I use both traditional woodturning techniques to make solid wood bowls and segmented woodturning techniques.
When I started learning to turn on the lathe, I found that while I enjoyed the process, the outcome was limited by the pieces of available wood for shape, size, and colors. When I discovered segmented woodturning, the doors of possibility opened wide. I combine various woods, especially figured and often locally sourced woods, into shapes and combinations that offer endless possibilities. I choose shapes and sizes for the end form that may be influenced by a particular piece of wood but are open to combinations of color, figure, and size not achievable by any single piece of wood.
When I start a project, I usually plan and sketch out the finished shape, including creating the lines and curves that will be on the outside. Next comes the math as I calculate how to cut the wood to create the finished design using one of the techniques described above.
Solid wood bowls are less complicated. I choose a beautiful piece of wood and put it on the lathe with an idea of the shape I want to end up with based upon the flaws and features of that particular piece of wood. Then it’s a matter of skill and experience as I shape the wood with tools.
On some of my pieces, primarily solid wood bowls, my 16-year-old daughter uses pyrography to add designs to the items. We call those collaborations our #HeTurnsSheBurns collection.
The natural colors of wood are beautiful on their own, so I never dye or stain wood. I use a variety of different finishes depending on the intended use for the piece, all of which are food safe. I most often use a clear lacquer finish.