Bill Luce Woodturner

About me



William Luce:  Studio Woodturner
Date of Birth: 1952, Stuttgart, Germany

I was born in Germany of American parents, and spent much of my formative years living on the island of Okinawa,  now part of Japan.  Many years later, well after I had begun turning bowls, I realized that I had long forgotten yet vivid memories of certain aspects of that culture that continue to influence me today.  I remember as a young boy examining in detail ceremonial lacquered wooden bowls, admiring their simple excellence and the wonderful way they felt so natural in the hand.  These many years later I have found welling up in me the passion to create objects that have a similar quiet power both when viewed and held.  The shapes I am drawn to are not the same as those first bowls in my memory, but my overriding zeal for excellence at all costs may be due in part to those Ryukyuuan craftsmen who dedicated their lives to making the absolute best vessels possible.

My personal mission statement:  "The exploration of the quiet power of understated form."

That passion is a major focus of my life, and I devote myself full-time to the various aspects of woodturning as an art form and a business.  I am dedicated to the ongoing goal of expressing myself in shapes that are a balance of harmony and tension. The harmony in the form gives a sense of comfort or pleasure while some tension is needed to add interest and surprise. The study of the how small nuances in simple forms relate to the emotional impact of the piece is now my life's work.

Until a few years ago I believed that for me woodturning was just a means to an end, and that the process itself was not terribly important to me.  I also thought that the material I use, wood, was simply a canvas and the final forms I created were what really mattered.  After much reflection and thousands of working hours later I suddenly realized one day that this is not the case.  The dance at the lathe - from the powerful aggression of the roughing stages to the state of near meditation during the final shaping of the pieces - are every bit as important to my daily journey  as the finished piece.  I feel both mentally and spiritually energized and centered as I quiet my mind and watch my hands and body work - drawing energy from the spinning wood.

After listening to other artists recount their experiences in other cultures including the Native North American Indian and the traditional Hawaiian cultures, and more self reflection, I also realized that the medium wood means much more to me than simply a canvas.  I realized that I feel a responsibility to honor the spirit of nature and the spirit of the tree by striving to create objects that continue that spirit.  And, studying and experiencing wood from each tree I work, the wood teaches me. Not so much what must be done, but more what can be done.  In other words, the wood doesn't tell me what to do; it hints what is possible, and sometimes what not to do.  This guidance and inspiration show the wood and its spirit to be much more than a silent canvas.

I now live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world, the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  Here  I am surrounded by nature in all its grandness,  close to a magnificent ocean, forests, many rivers, lakes, mountain ranges and even deserts.  I relish spending time alone with my thoughts away from the studio and in  a more completely natural setting.  This time revitalizes and refreshes me, with the vast power yet incredible detail of nature often giving me a renewed perspective on both my life and work.

Currently I am building a new and larger studio facility on Key Peninsula so I will not be producing new work until probably June of 2015. 






 All rights reserved copyright William Luce 2012

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