Peter Rand

   woodturning                   wood sculpture

    Welcome      Recent Directions   Femispheres    Pirouettes    Dollops    Thingsects    Deconstructions    Vessels                Articles


Events in my early years ensured my love for wood. One was the thrill of turning a platter in “shop” in early school days, an experience I never forgot. One was refinishing antique furniture from auctions that came to furnish our home. Now retired, most of my ‘working
’ life has been spent as a research scientist, becoming a  Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. But during that time I became inspired by woodturning seen in England, in the hills of Corfu, and at the Renwick Museum in Washington in the early 80’s. By the 90's I started woodturning. Although largely self-taught, I learned woodturning with Maurice Gamblin, of  New Brunswick, and with Alan Stirt at the Arrowmont Crafts School in Tennessee, a truely inspiring place.

The dualism of scientific and artistic work continues to intrigue me. My lifelong work in science continues to draw me back to fundamentals of geometry and shape, symmetry and asymmetry, and abstract sculpture: hence my ongoing obsession! with 'femispheres', invented by J. Roberts, an English joiner,  many years ago, (se
e Scientific
American October 1999 (p116)). My more recent explorations are of multi-axis sculpture. Valuable to me has been a unique “Designers Group” of a dozen woodturners in southern Ontario who meet to visit or invite tutors to learn about artistic inspiration and design principles in all media.  The virtues and the value of such an unusual group in design education has been described by Steve Loar in “Woodwork” magazine in December 2003, page 57.”


Books, courses and other treatments of fundamental design give thorough attention to each of the three dimensions. But only token reference is made to "the fourth dimension", movement. This has stimulated me to explore how movement might add to the esthetics of woodturnings, and what kinetic wood art exists. There is practically none. My
initial ideas and some of my earlier mobile work are described in an article, "Turning to the Fourth Dimension", in "American Woodturner" 17:36, Fall 2002. I have developed two different small 'engines'  that can produce complex motion and yet be hidden within an artistic piece. One of these and associated kinetic work is published  as "Slow Turntables - Put a Different Spin on Your Turned Art"  in "Woodturning Design" #13 Spring 2007 pp71-73.  Exploring the fundamentals of the artistic aesthetics of real motion, and determining how movement might add, or not, to the aesthetics of a piece of wood art continues to inspire me.  My more recent  results are described  in American Woodturner as “Kinetics in Woodturning” including two hidden motor mechanisms.

Both movement and shape, and the distorted surrealism of objects like Dali's soft watches, motivate my more recent fragmented pieces. This involves a process of deconstruction of
'classical' pieces and their reconstruction into something that, for the moment at least, harks back to the original piece. After 'deconstruction' into ten or twenty pieces, it is still a delightful challenge to predict what the reconstruction will bring, and of the many possibilities which are esthetically the most pleasing.

Peter Rand,

1278 Line 2 RR#6

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario,

Canada. L0S1J0

Tel : 905-468-2889