by Allayah Carr
Most families pass down a family heirloom—a pair of earrings or a watch—from generation
to generation, but material possessions were not enough for the Moulthrop family.
Instead, they passed down something far more valuable. They passed down their craft.
The University of West Georgia's art department and the Michael and Andrea Stone Visiting Artist Series presents Harmony & Balance: The Art of Master Woodturners Ed, Philip, and Matt Moulthrop. The unique collection of wood-turned pieces is on display in the Bobick gallery through April 28. A special reception and presentation from the Moulthrop family will be held on April 8 at 7 p.m.
Woodturning is the process of putting a piece of wood on a lathe. When the lathe is
on, the piece of wood spins or turns and the artist can use tools to cut the wood
into different shapes. The Moulthrop family has been engaging in this pioneering art
form since the 1950s when Ed Moulthrop introduced it to his son, Philip.
“My father was always very artistic,” said Philip Moulthrop, UWG alumnus. “He was an architect and a watercolor artist. My interest began in the late 1970s. I always enjoyed working with my hands and making things.”
The woodturning artistry started with Ed Moulthrop, who created his own lathe, tools, and finish. Philip followed into his footsteps and also ventured off to try his hand at photography. The Moulthrops hope to keep woodturning as a family business so their offspring can engage in the beauty of the craft.
“I plan to still be woodturning in 10 years,” said Philip. “However, I will slow down some so the interest in woodturning of our future generations is crucial.”
Matt Moulthrop is continuing his grandfather’s legacy. He grew up around studios and studied his father and grandfather as they crafted one-of-a-kind creations. With modernized tools, a developed passion for the arts, and the skills of being an informal apprentice, Matt began making his own woodturning sculptures.
“Woodturning is a revelation process,” said Matt Moulthrop. “You are uncovering the sculpture within. The final piece is only as good as the material you start with.”
As a young adult, Matt learned that the artistry of wood turning comes from the eye, not the hand.
“Being able to see the shape of the bowl has been a legacy and a gift I have tried to improve upon with my own vision as well as my version of style, form, and texture,” he said. “In my quest to create, I strive to blend both tradition and innovation into an art form that honors my legacy and creates a new one.”
For more information on the series, please contact Melissa Sullivan at 678-839-5450.