up in Kansas and Arizona, I obtained my bachelors degree
at the University of Kansas and both my M.Sc. and Ph.D.
at the University of Illinois. I moved to British Columbia
in 1981, to pursue my academic career as a faculty member
at Simon Fraser University. I am currently a Professor
in the School of Computing Science at SFU. My duties include
undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, and administrative
tasks. My research is in theoretical computing science,
focusing on the interaction between network structure
and communication problems.
currently reside in Coquitlam, BC with my wife Jan, two
stepsons, and two Siamese cats.
have always been passionate about music in spite of having
a mother and grandmother who were piano teachers. My musical
interests are quite varied and I have studied and performed
on several instruments over the years. So, it is natural
that I came to woodturning from music.
you ignore a regrettable junior high school shop class,
my woodworking career began during my graduate student
years when I decided to make an amadinda - a large xylophone
from Uganda. Constructing the instrument in the living
room of my apartment with very few hand tools proved challenging
(and hard on the carpets). I continued to make instruments,
focusing on experimental percussion devices inspired by
African, Indian, or Indonesian instruments or by composer/inventors
such as Harry Partch. I used whatever materials seemed
appropriate, including wood, plastics, and some metal.
moving to British Columbia, I continued to explore music
and musical instruments and eventually was able to establish
a shop in my home. Several years later, I joined a local
woodworking club (the Pacific Woodworkers Guild) and began
to participate in their annual 2x4 contest. The idea of
the contest is to make something using only an 8' long
2x4 (of any variety of wood), glue, and finishing products.
The constraints of this contest force the participants
to think creatively. My entries have generally been musical
instruments. One year, I decided to make a programmable
automated xylophone. To complete the instrument, I realized
that it would be helpful to have some turned parts. After
consulting with my brother (who makes bagpipes), I obtained
my first lathe and learned just enough about turning to
make the parts. The instrument ("Hunka hunka churnin'
wood") was a big hit, winning the contest that year
and generating a surprising amount of media coverage.
I did some more turning and eventually began to see myself
primarily as a woodturner, rather than a woodworker. I
learned more about turning, concentrating on bowls and
small functional items. I began to consider the possibility
of making more artistic work after seeing an inspiring
demonstration by Frank Sudol. An Educational Opportunity
Grant from the AAW allowed me to study with Jacques Vesery.
That was a pivotal experience, beginning the search for
my own voice and continuing to affect my work today.
need for more exposure to woodturners from outside our
area was a major motivation for founding the Greater Vancouver
Woodturners Guild (an AAW chapter) in 1999. Our club has
been highly successful and I have benefited greatly from
the exposure to our visiting woodturners.
am currently exploring various surface enhancements on
hollow forms and other turned objects. Most of these enhancements
involve subdividing the surface into regions. A major
focus is my series of puzzling illusion pieces that appear
to be jigsaw puzzles. Another series, inspired by the
paintings of Mondrian and Klee, has surfaces broken into
regions that are individually colored first with alcohol-based
dyes and then sprayed with thinned black acrylic ink.
The Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Dancing
Men" provided a substitution code that allows me
to encode messages on the surface of my '"dancing
men" pieces. A series called "burning fields"
features surfaces subdivided into irregular and highly
textured regions. A recent development is the "vox"
- a box that appears to be a hollow vessel when it is
turn on a Stubby 750 using a variety of tools. For hollowing,
I am an advocate of the constrained handle systems. I
do all of my hollowing with a Jamieson handle and various
cutters including those made by Jamieson and by Kelton.
I use many different tools for carving including rotary
and reciprocating carvers, high-speed dental type tools,
and pyrography tools. For coloring, I use acrylics and
can see more of my work at www.artliestman.com
and at various galleries including del Mano (Los Angeles),
Northwest Fine Woodworking (Seattle), Crafthouse (Vancouver),
Gallery Xylos (Calgary), the Guild Shop (Toronto), and
(cyberspace). One of my voxes will be included in the
"Put a Lid On It" exhibition.