Peter Bloch Artist Statement & Biography
|As a woodworker, the shapes that interest me are abstract, contemporary, and “organic” (meaning that the lines reflect the sinuous, sensuous curves found in nature). My designs feature simple and crisp forms that allow the patterns and colors in the wood to speak for themselves. Each piece is handcrafted from start to finish; all the cutting, shaping, and sanding is controlled by hand and eye.
When I began my career as a fulltime woodworker in 1979, my work was predominantly functional -- clocks, desk accessories, mirrors, lamps, tables, jewelry boxes, etc. Then in 1983, I learned to use a woodturning lathe, and became fascinated by the creative opportunities offered by extraordinary pieces of wood such as burls and bark-edged wood. My favorite forms were thin hollow vessels with bark-edge wings.
Those hollow vessels led in 1987 to a determined set of experiments to find a way to make translucent wood lampshades. After 5 years, I perfected a system that allows me to take a 200 pound log of green wood and make a 12 ounce shade that is functional and durable. I believe that I am the only turner making full-sized translucent wood shades. This dramatic form of woodturning has now evolved to become the dominant component of my work, and has won several awards at exhibitions.
I sell my work through galleries, craft shows, and the showroom in our home in New London, NH. From the beginning, the League of NH Craftsmen has been an important support, and I served as president for 2 years. More recently, I have been one of the Wood Jurors since approximately 1996, and was a member of the Standards Committee for 6 years. In 1992, I founded the Granite State Woodturner, and served as president for the first four years. That group is the sponsor of the New England Woodturning Symposia, which we put on every three years. I am the overall coordinator of these events, which bring in something like 25 demonstrators for a day long woodturning extravaganz. As a firm believer in the importance of sharing experiences and techniques, I demonstrate extensively for the public and for woodturners.