Wood Turned Vessels by Andy DiPietro

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I’ve not highlighted a woodturner for a little while, and it’s a technique I’m really fascinated by, so I’ve been on the hunt this morning to see what I can find in this area. Pennsylvania seems to be a real playground for individuals working in the medium of wood, so it was of little surprise to me that I landed upon the webpage of turner Andy DiPietro who’s based locally. When you consider famous craftsmen like Wharton Esherick and George Nakashima plied their trade not too far away, in fact the Nakashima studio is still going strong over in New Hope, it’s inevitable that future generations are going to cycle into such careers – or so you’d like to think!

I’ve always had a bit of a push-pull relationship with woodturning and the blog because it’s difficult to get your hands on the lifestyle type imagery that we like to highlight here, if I’m honest I don’t think a generic background does works like Andy’s justice. However, I can appreciate the fact that to create work that is this accomplished you have to spend years in the workshop refining the craft, and photography is perhaps the least of your worries. All this aside it’s quite evident to me that Andy is a real leader in his field, I’ve not come across too many works that have been given a natural dye like he has in the image above, I love that he’s trying different techniques to his peers.

The both of us really enjoyed learning about the lacquerware process yesterday through the short film Mark shared, and personally I’d love to see more documentation of making works like this, not just on our website but in general online. Although sometimes it can seem like we’re interested in topics that are considered above our age range we believe that the younger generations will subscribe to these ways of working if presented with the opportunity. Inevitably this is part of our end goal and hopefully through sharing Andy’s work today a few of you will take a look at what else and who else is making by turning on the lathe.

If you’re curious about the other projects going on in Pennsylvania and you’ve not read much on the Nakashima studio previously I’d recommend our recent interview with George’s daughter Mira, who now runs the New Hope based collective. In terms of handcrafted furniture the studio are the real pinnacle of what we’ve come across in our many years scouring the internet, like Andy’s webpage they are more than worth a moment of your time. Don’t just take my word for it though, head across via the link below and see what you think for yourself.


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  • Andy DiPietro

    Thank you Daniel for featuring my work! I just happened to pick up this link on a google search. Feel free to contact me with any questions if you like. As you have seen my asethetic is quite different from the norm of woodworking and woodturning. I enjoy adding color and texture to my work to create wood art.

  • Daniel Benning

    No problem Andy your work deserved to be highlighted. I love that you are pushing the envelope for what is considered to be the boundaries of traditional woodturning. It would be great to see/hear more on how you exactly created these wonderful colours.

  • Andy DiPietro

    Hi Dan,

    Each wood blank is chain sawed from green wood logs. The blank is then turned and hollowed out on a wood lathe with hand tools to 1/8” wall thickness. Each piece is air dried for 2 weeks before texturing and coloring.

    Five out of the seven pieces that you featured are surface textured by sandblasting before the addition of dye colors. Sandblasting opens the pours to allow more dye and liming wax penetration. This creates are more dramatic contrast and color range.

    Piece 1 – Sassafras, sandblasted, dyed dark green then lime waxed
    Piece 2 – Bleached spalted ambrosia maple with clear lacquer finish
    Piece 3 – Red Oak, sandblasted, dyed black and yellow, oil finish
    Piece 4 – Spalted Sugar Maple with oil finish
    Piece 5 – Elm, sandblasted, dyed black then lime waxed
    Piece 6 – Figured Ash, sandblasted, dyed black and red, oil finish
    Piece 7 – Sassafras, sandblasted, dyed dark green, red or black then lime waxed

    I used block printing dyes for Pieces 1 & 7 and wood dyes for Pieces 3,5 & 6.

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