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Larry Osterman has lived in Kirkland, Washington with his wife Julie Hotard since 1989. He was born in 1952 in Baltimore and raised in Orlando. He spent ten years in Gainesville, Florida earning a graduate degree and working for the University of Florida. He then worked for 25 years in the computer software industry, developing network management systems for telecom companies. Larry began woodturning full time in 2000, and stoneturning in 2001.

The Osterman studio occupies a two-car garage in the residence. All wood and stone storage, preparation, turning, and finishing take place here. The shop houses Nichols and Jet lathes, a band saw, drill press, and other tools. Also interested in metal for tool-making as well as an artistic material, Larry has taken welding and machining courses at his local technical college, and owns a mill. Visitors to the shop are welcome with advance notice.

Though Larry has only been turning for a few years, he feels that his progress has been accelerated due to the willingness of other turners to share their expertise in various ways, including turning club activities and sponsored demos, symposia, books and tapes, and online discussion groups. As a way of paying back, Larry maintains web pages of interest to turners, hosts online groups for the Nichols lathe and regional turning, and is an editor of turning categories in the Open Directory Project and WebRing.

In the brief time he has been turning, Larry has pursued a variety of styles and materials, trying to find his niche. If artistic turning can be divided between the "elegant" and the "original", Larry's work has tended towards the former. Larry attempts nothing more nor less than to make objects that are beautiful in form, color, and line. He has no political, sociological, or psychological statement to make. But he desires to make an original contribution within the historical context of turning, ideally to find a new mode of expression. "Artistic woodturning has evolved dramatically in the past several decades and especially in the last five years", says Larry, "and recognizable sub-movements are beginning to emerge. Collectors are increasingly sophisticated in their awareness of how a piece relates to its predecessors."

"And this is a good thing", he continues. "In the early days, when turning was fighting for attention, an adherence to basic principles and traditional techniques was in order. But if turning wants to take its proper place in the art world, we need variety and complexity. We need schools of thought and arguments about what is valid and what is not. My own opinion is that it's all valid, but not everybody agrees, and it's that disagreement that will give turning continued vitality. We don't have to be nice to each other all the time."

"I have yet to find my own voice, but I think it will come in time", says Larry. "Meanwhile, I continue working with new materials and techniques and perfecting my craftsmanship." Upon turning his first stone piece, he was delightfully surprised with the beauty of the patterns in the stone surface, rivaling those in wood. Most recently he has attacked the problem of turning marble, which being quite hard is much more difficult to turn than soapstone or alabaster, but which expands his palette of colors and patterns, and makes for a very durable piece.

Larry sells his work through galleries, and via his website at LarryOsterman.com.


 

     
  Spalted Silver Maple Vase
7" wide by 10" tall
Danish oil, carnauba wax
  Black locust burl bowl
6" wide by 2.25" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil
 
     
  Pine bowl
9.25" wide by 3.75" tall
Soap soak, Hut Crystal Coat
  Mahogany walnut basswood box
2.5" wide by 6" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil
 
     
  Mahogany hollow form
7.5" wide by 4" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil
  Colorado alabaster bowl
6" wide by 2" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil
 
     
  Cedar sculpture
5" wide by 10.5" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil
  Cocobolo vase
5.5" wide by 3.25" tall
Watco Natural Danish oil, carnauba wax
 
     
  Butternut winged bowl
10.5" wide by 2.5" tall
Watco Natural Danish Oil
  Alabaster-ebony bowl
9" wide by 2" tall
Bartley's gel varnish
 
     
  Utah marble vase
10.75" wide by 8.5" tall
Bartley's gel varnish
  Soapstone-wenge bowl
18" wide by 7.75" tall
Bartley's gel varnish
 
         
         
 

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