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AAW 1995 Honorary Lifetime Member: Bob Stocksdale
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Honorary Lifetime Members

AAW 1992 Honorary Lifetime Member: Bob Stocksdale (1913-2003)


Bob Stocksdale grew up an Indiana farm boy. A fondness for tools fostered his interest in woodturning—he powered his first lathe with a washing machine motor. Bob’s early turnings were represented by baseball bats, honey dippers, and tops, as well as spindles for furniture repair. Following high school, he held woodworking-related factory jobs.
As a conscientious objector (CO) during World War II, Bob was sent to a Michigan CO camp to do forestry work, but found a lathe and began turning bowls. With encouragement from an Ohio gallery owner, he continued developing his skills. In 1946, after his work had been shown in San Francisco, he moved to Berkeley, CA, where he lived and worked for more than 50 years.
Bob’s landmark bowl forms, exquisitely done in rare and exotic woods, were made in a modest basement shop. His appreciation of wood’s beauty is noted in his bowls’ simple organic forms, of which he would say jokingly: “Greek and Oriental potters have been stealing my designs for thousands of years.” Bob became an American Craft Council Fellow in 1978, was named a California Living Treasure in 1985, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from CWA in 1998.

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