Art of the Lathe

Wood Turned, Burned, Carved and Gilded

Visitors to wood artist David Datwyler’s upcoming exhibition, “Art of the Lathe: Wood Turned, Burned, Carved and Gilded” Oct. 4 through 29 in Gallery III of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg, should expect to be surprised.

“Previous notions of turned wood as functional objects will be upended,” the Spartanburg artist says. “This exhibit will show exotic and domestic woods turned on a lathe. These pieces have been further embellished by burning, carving, gold leafing or combining different woods. Although wood turning is normally perceived as a craft used to make everyday objects such as railings, chair legs and bowls, it also can be a means of sculpting objects of beauty.”

Visitors to the exhibition will have a “sense of wonder and greater appreciation of the beauty and possibilities of lathe-turned wood,” says Datwyler, a retired nurse, who has been an artist for 20 years with no formal training.

The display of his original work is a “culmination of years of practice and experimentation. Every piece is developed with an eye for detail. Each piece may take as many as 20 hours to complete.”

The exhibit will include photographs and descriptions of the process of creating the pieces. It also will include some hands-on displays “to enhance the understanding of working with wood,” Datwyler says. The 20 pieces in the show will be offered for sale with prices ranging from $200 to $1,800.

A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Datwyler says his work is inspired by historical and modern vessels, especially pottery and blown glass. Although often based on utilitarian items such as baskets, vessels and tea pots, his pieces are purely ornamental celebrations of craft as an art form. A lathe, a power tool that spins wood as it is being carved, is used as a basis for his work. He then enhances his pieces by carving, sculpting, deconstructing and reconstructing different components.

His work has been in galleries, exhibits and museums throughout the country. He has won multiple awards including multiple best of show awards.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to exhibit at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg,” he says. “ACS is a great venue that showcases the incredible artistic talent that we have in Spartanburg. The Artists Collective has grown and matured through the years to become the go-to place to see local artists. Great exhibition spaces and an enthusiastic community of artists.”

An artist’s talk will be held Oct. 20 in conjunction with Spartanburg ArtWalk.


Artists Collective | Spartanburg 

32 Studios | 50+ Local Artists

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Spartanburg SC, 29301
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