William P. Smith
William Smith in his studio
BORN: May 5, 1947, Philadelphia, PA
"Most of my art is not intended to make statements about myself or my world. I focus upon creating objects that are satisfying to hold, view and feel."
Residing in Pennsylvania among the hardwood forests of the Northeast, William Smith has worked with wood for most of his life. Since 1994, he has turned his attention to woodturning, a form of woodworking in which the wood moves while a tool is used to cut and shape it.
Smith creates vessels using a technique called "open segmented construction," which involves cutting each individual piece of wood or segment and gluing them together to form geometric patterns when they are turned. He is particularly interested in the regimentation and geometrical patterning this process affords. Smith uses clean shapes and lines to emphasize the patterns, and he is most fond of the interplay of light and shadows one sees when viewing his work. Depending on the complexity of each work, Smith produces an average of two works a month. The ranging complexity of the artist's work demonstrates the scope of his skill and mastery. The organic, non-symmetrical and textural quality in much of Smith's latest work reflects his recent awareness and interest in the natural world.
Smith is a self-taught artist whose work has been featured in several regional and national exhibitions, including SOFA in Chicago and New York, in which he was represented by the del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles. He has conducted workshops at conventions of the American Association of Woodturners, and in 2002 he authored a book, Segmented Wood Turning, so he could share his process with other wood artists.