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Woodturning News: General News

NEWS CHIEF: Artist captures Mayfaire Best of Show by turning wood into art (05/13/2017)

Monday, May 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
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He makes wood look like marble.

John Mascoll, an artistic wood turner from Safety Harbor, was named Best of Show in the 46th MidFlorida Mayfaire by-the-Lake on Saturday for his “one-of-a-kind hollow formed wood vessels” created from domestic and international exotic woods.

“A lot of people think wood work is just a craft,” Mascoll said Saturday evening before learning he was the winner. “It’s an art.”

This isn’t the first time Mascoll has earned the art fair’s highest honor. He walked away with the $5,000 grand prize in 2012, too.

It’s his 22nd year participating in the fair, which is put on by the Polk Museum of Art.

This year, he was chosen from among 160 artists across a variety of mediums. Artists will continue to display and sell their art today around Lake Morton.

Most people tell Mascoll his work looks like marble or ceramic. They’re even more blown away when they learn it’s wood.

He makes vessels from Queen Palm, White Ash, Ambrosia Maple, Tulip Poplar and more.

Some are long, some are wide, some are speckled. Some look more like wood than others. What makes them look like stone are the two types of finishes he puts on each piece: catalyzed and a semigloss that is used on cars.

Choosing wood as his creative medium was natural for him, he said.

His father was a carpenter and boat builder. While growing up in his native Barbados, Mascoll mimicked his father’s every move to learn the cutting and styling of woodworking. He uses a lathe and other cutting and hollowing tools to create his pieces.

“This not only allowed me to craft the various woods into forms and shapes more efficiently, but also the delicately crafted finials and covers that accessorize and enhance each individual piece,” he writes in his artist statement. “I wanted to create pieces that showed a connection between my world view and my inner self by exploring and embracing all aspects of this medium so as to not limit expressiveness of the work itself.”

He’s inspired by things that have greatly influenced his thought process, he said: nature, travels, family, cultural diversity, the workmanship of things made, memories and experience of the past, artists whose works he admires, and his engineering background.

He moved to the United States in 1976 and just recently retired as an engineer. He now focuses on his art full time.

“You can get several different features from the same log of wood,” Mascoll said. “This allows me to get really creative.”

View source and photos.

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