MAURICE CLABAUGH Maurice Clabaugh Main < BACK

Maurice Clabaugh began turning in 1991. Before that, he had no formal training in any art form, and had no knowledge of lathe turnings as well. He is completely self-taught and uses his keen observations and innate ability to focus on nature's extraordinary handiwork (i.e., bark inclusions, wood grain figures, knotholes and various wood colorations). He has trained himself to become a wood turner and artist who specializes in "natural" contemplative art pieces. He creates his pieces in harmony with, and brings special attention to, the unique variations nature places in each piece of wood he turns. Philosophy: Clabaugh believes wood is a living element and possesses a spirit. Maurice brings into harmony the personality and spirit of the wood and uses his skills to expose this harmony, so it maybe seen and appreciated. He highlights blemishes rather than "turn them away". His end goal is not only to release the inner beauty of the piece but also to preserve and enhance it for future enjoyment. He believes that everything in creation has a measure of beauty to share. He is driven to share this contemplative art with viewers seeking renewal in any form but especially through nature. Just as the spirit of the wood is renewed in his art form, he desires to renew the observer's spirit during viewing as his was renewed during the turning process. Woods: He uses only these found woods and never cuts trees for his art. Maurice specializes in revitalizing discarded wood, i.e., logs struck by lightning, charred in fires, pieces of roots, those with knotholes and cracks as well as other disfigurements. Somewhat unique to his turnings, is the use of "spalted" woods. Spalting is a stage in the decaying process that due to bacteria, moisture, temperature and time creates a delicate, lace-like network of lines in the figure of the wood. The process changes the chemical and cellular structure of the log and thus enables a "one of a kind" pattern to emerge that cannot be duplicated. Finishes: Most all of the wooden items are left with a "natural wood" finishes and are not augmented with stains or artificial colorings. When color has been added, it is noted on the item's description. Each bowl or wooden object is finished with a jeweler's finish. Each item has three coats of lacquer, several coats of natural oil finish and a coat of pure carnauba wax that is buffed on a jeweler's wheel. This gives a smooth semi-gloss finish, which makes the objects very tactile.

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