Michael Hosaluk, Member #487
What motivated you to join the fledgling AAW?
I was at the original meeting at Arrowmont in 1985 where the idea was conceived to start the AAW. I remember there was Dale Nish, Albert LeCoff, Ray Key, David Ellsworth, Bob Rubles (the first director) myself and a few others talking about starting an international organization and look where we are today!
When you look at your pieces from 1986, what do you see?
I see pieces that challenged woodturning and stretched the limits of interpretation of woodturning. Important for our field to grow.
Who or what was your greatest teacher?
Del Stubbs and my father, not for woodturning but making things.
What was your funniest turning moment?
Mark Sfirri turning a baguette with his French hat on. There are many! Another funny moment, also when teaching, was when Betty Scarpino and cohorts made a piece titled Blue Balls in response to a piece Bob Bahr and cohorts made of a female figure.You had to be there to appreciate the fun and laughter that ensued.
What was your happiest turning moment?
There are many but it was at Emma Lake and Del Stubbs and I woke up early, 6AM to get on the lathes before anyone else and David Ellsworth was there also so here I was, turning between the two people who have had the greatest influence on me in woodturning.
What is your favorite tool and/or wood and why?
A ½" detail gouge because I can do so much with it, and arbutus/madrone because it makes any woodturner look good.
What do you see as the biggest change in the field?
That is has become international and as a teacher I have travelled the world sharing knowledge with an amazing bunch of people and the introduction of any material to explore new designs and concepts.
Acts of Chairorism, a public art installation project.
Various cities, 2010-2011.
If you couldn't be a woodturner, what would you be instead?
Do you still have American Woodturner back issues? Where do you keep them?
I donated them to the library of our local Woodworkers Guild but kept the ones that I am included in.
Has being a part of AAW affected your life and work? How?
I have lifelong friends because of the AAW. It has allowed a forum of exploration and experimentation in my work and a support group to discuss ideas of education and anything else in life.
What's your favorite project/piece?
It is hard to define a favorite piece but there were some pivotal ones. I was teaching at Arrowmont in the late '80s and cut up blanks for everyone to turn a piece and add one other material to the bowl each would turn. By the time I chose a piece it was the worst out of the bunch but proceeded to make a vessel. I always encouraged students to see what other classes were doing to try and generate new ideas. Dorothy Gil Barnes was teaching basketry and I was taken with the notion of incorporating willow into my bowl. The piece travelled with me from Tennessee to Australia and along the way many objects were added as I travelled. When it was finished I titled it Travelling Bowl as it represented many experiences and objects collected on this journey. The significant aspect of this piece was not the beautiful wood, as it was a junky piece of sassafras, but more the ideas that we possess that can transform nothing into some of great value(not only monetarily) and beauty. I still make pieces in this series as I travel and it opened new doors to my making of objects.
Favorite piece turned by another artist?
Again there are many pieces in my collection that I cherish and hold dear as the friendships that come with the history of the objects. There is one that stands out and I don't own it or know the name of maker. I was teaching an advanced class and the school to make enrollment asked if a person could take the class who had no experience and I welcomed him as we all have to start somewhere. My beginning classes is to learn the basics, my advanced is to use the basics to advance. This person although roughly hewn made a piece that represented place, the school where we all were, the students who collectively helped each other and me as the teacher. The piece brought a tear to my eye and taught me that everyone counts no matter and the essence of a piece can trump skill and material. I think sometimes students are sent to teach the teacher.
If you could give your 30 years-younger self some advice about being a turner what would you say?
Never stop learning, try everything that comes to mind and have fun.
You can see more of Michael Hosaluk's work here.
A Couple of Tables, 2015.
Maple, curly maple, acrylic paint, milk paint
Piece By Piece, 2014. Birch, acrylic paint
Bird Bowl, undated. Birch, pigments.
AAW Permanent Collection. Donated by Lois Laycraft.
Transfer, 2011. Rawhide, linen. Formed over turned and carved base. From the POP exhibition, Beyond Containment.
In the thirty weeks leading up to AAW's 30th Anniversary Symposium in Atlanta, we will be sharing the stories of members who joined in 1986 and are still members today. We hope you enjoy their memories and insights!
Click here to view profiles online.
Teapot, 2013. Maple, copper, acrylic paint
About Michael Hosaluk
A self-taught artist and woodturner, Michael Hosaluk was a professional woodworker before becoming a full-time artist and teacher. "I have made things from wood since I was 3 years old. I am constantly looking for new paths and directions, much like an explorer."
An instigator of creative community-building for more than thirty years, in 1982 Michael organized a woodturning and furniture-making conference in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The conference evolved into the Emma Lake International Collaboration, an innovative, biennial hands-on experiential event that brings together international groups of artists working in different media to make art for a week in northern Saskatchewan. Emma Lake has inspired similarly-spirited collaborative events across the globe.
Michael's work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions, and is in numerous private, corporate and public collections, including the permanent collections of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace; Zhao Xiu, Governor of Jilin Province, China; Idemitsu Corporation, Tokyo; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Detroit Institute of Arts; Yale University Art Gallery; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Royal Ontario Museum.
Michael lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with his wife, Marilyn. They have four children.