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2024/07/11 - Guild Meeting - Turning Spalted Wood with Seri Robinson

Published on 6/9/2024
An Introduction to Understanding and Turning Spalted Wood - with Dr. Seri Robinson 
  • Thursday July 11th
  • Zoom IRD 
  • Zoom call opens a 6:15 for socializing
  • Meeting begins at 6:45 PM
  • Demonstration begins at 7 PM

We are looking forward to hosting Dr. Seri Robinson for our July 11th Meeting and Demonstration.  All of us love spalted wood for its beautiful natural designs and colors, but what do you really know about spalting?  Why does wood spalt?  What causes spalting?  How are the colors we see created and do they last?  Does spalted wood turn differently than non-spalted wood?  Please join us for this demonstration as these questions and many more will be answered by Seri as she takes us into her world of spalted wood. 

To begin, Seri will spend time with a general introduction to the historic use of spalting and then move on to the modern science of spalting.  Along the way Seri will also touch on DIY spalting and tips and tricks for working with spalted wood.

The next area Seri will be addressing is the actual turning of spalted wood.  Because of the structural nature of spalted wood, turning requires patience and a unique tooling approach in order to reduce use of stabilizers and sanding.  Subjects that will be discussed are:
   - Tools
   - Grinds
   - Stabilizers
   - Sanding
   - How to turn spalted wood safely

About our Demonstrator:
Dr. Sara C. Robinson is a professor of wood anatomy at Oregon State University.  She is also an artist.  Her interests lay in wood aesthetics and the concept of parergonal aesthetics.  She states "I like pretty colors and aggressive sports – and I play a lot of roller derby."

Seri works within the field of art science as a bio artist. Unlike many artists who utilize scientific techniques to develop their art, Seri strives to maintain a balance of both fields in her work. She strives to not be ‘just’ an artist or ‘just’ a scientist, but to blur the line between the two disciplines. Neither science nor art can exist without the other, and it is important to communicate that to viewers.

Seri primarily utilizes fungi in her work, often with wood as a medium. Two intertwining processes drive her – a return to natural ornamentation techniques and the promotion of parergonal aesthetics. Wood, as a traditionally functional material, holds a unique place within human emotions. The use of fungi and natural decay processes not only creates ornament (instead of dyes and stains), but challenges perceptions of functionality. Decay fungi are generally disdained, but wood is held in high regard. The meeting of both can create emotional conflict and challenges the viewer to reevaluate their position on functional wood and natural ornamentation processes.