Writing by Betty Scarpino
Read articles and other pieces written about internationally recognized artist, wood sculptor, woodturner, and woodcut printmaker Betty Scarpino.
Betty Scarpino
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Writing by Betty Scarpino

Read articles written by Betty Scarpino about techniques, other wood artists, collections, exhibitions, and more.

In addition to her work creating wood sculpture and woodcut prints, Betty Scarpino is a writer who has authored numerous articles on a variety of topics. Credit for the following articles goes to American Woodturner Journal, publication of the American Association of Woodturners, a nonprofit membership organization, dedicated to the advancement of woodturning.  Betty was also editor-in-chief of American Woodturner from 2009 – 2014.

Dye And Liming Wax Finish by Betty Scarpino

Dye And Liming Wax Finish

American Woodturner, October 2016

“The grain patterns of ash are often quite striking, but its color tends to be drab. Dye and liming wax can make this plain wood come to life, and because ash is a ring-porous wood, it is an ideal choice for this technique. The lead photos show an ash bowl before and after its grain pattern was enhanced with dye and liming wax. I always use dry wood.”


“To illustrate the process, I turned a bowl out of dry ash and sanded its surface to 320 grit. Dying wood will make
sanding scratches and torn grain highly visible, so be sure to sand carefully.”


Read more here.

A Jig For Bandsawing Round Objects by Betty Scarpino

A Jig for Bandsawing Round Objects

American Woodturner, February 2016

“Cutting a round workpiece on the bandsaw without proper support is a dangerous proposition. Woodturners often want to cut apart or trim a tenon off of turned spindles, cylinders, cones, and pod-shaped forms. Using a handsaw is always safe, but that can be slow and sometimes not even possible. It’s tempting, therefore, to use a bandsaw. But without the aid of a jig or other holding method, fingers can be lost.”


Read more here.

Embellishing Turned Objects by Betty Scarpino

Embellishing Turned Objects

American Woodturner, April 2017

“Humans have been painting, burning, carving, and texturing wood for centuries, but contemporary woodturners are just beginning to more fully embrace the possibilities for expression that exist when woodgrain is paired with opaque pigments, woodburning, and texturing. The intrepid turners who are already exploring the delights of adornment are rapidly acquiring new skills and knowledge and, in turn, teaching others. Freely sharing techniques and processes continues to define the rapid growth and expansion of the woodturning field.”


Read more here.

Turned and Sculpted by Betty Scarpino

Turned and Sculpted: Wood Art from the Collection of Arthur and Jane Mason

American Woodturner, June 2016

“The significance of Jane and Arthur Mason’s gift of thirty-two woodturnings to the Georgia Museum of Art extends well beyond the artworks themselves. This collecting couple’s support for the field of turned-wood art is wide-ranging, and already, it reverberates. Longtime champions of turned wood, Jane and Arthur gifted this historically noteworthy portion of their collection to a museum previously unfamiliar with the field. The Masons understand the importance of connections, and they know how to generate enduring enthusiasm.”


Read more here.

Beth Ireland Article by Betty Scarpino

Craft and Art: The Expressive Realm of Beth Ireland

American Woodturner, August 2015

“You may know Beth from her relatively recent Turning Around America collaborative, where she toured America for a year in a machine-and tool-decked-out van, teaching anyone who desired how to make small projects out of wood. Beth literally lived her motto, ‘Empowering people through the act of teaching art/craft,” by interactively teaching thousands; many had never whacked a nail with a hammer or sawed a board in half. By offering simple projects where basic skills could quickly be taught, Beth planted the seeds to instill a love of making. Fun. Beth knows that a person’s positive first experience with woodworking can germinate years later to bloom into lifelong creative endeavors.'”


Read more here.

Shock of the Timeless by Betty Scarpino

Shock of the Timeless

American Woodturner, February 2016

“I doubt anyone viewing Shock of the Timeless at SOFA Chicago (Sculpture Objects, Functional Art, and Design) was even mildly surprised by wood artists’ use of color—color abounds at SOFA. Patrons unfamiliar with the history of painted wood, however, might be surprised to learn its history is rich. Painting wood has long been an established act, artists and makers of every era concealing even the most glorious woodgrain. Kevin Wallace, exhibit curator, discusses the historical background of painted wood in his essay, ‘Contemporary Wood Art & The Shock of the Timeless.’ You can find it here. Color aside, the significance of Shock of the Timeless at SOFA was the presence of an exhibit focused on wood art, at a venue outside the confines of the wood field. In addition, a variety of galleries carried the work of many well-known woodturners.”


Read more here.

Helga Winter Article by Betty Scarpino

Helga Winter: The Vocabulary of Experience

American Woodturner, April 2016

“Helga Winter’s artwork is colorful and vibrant, and at the same time, soothing. Its appeal has a lot to do with Helga’s focused connection with her methods and on her materials while she transforms wood into art objects. Fully present, she expels shavings, saturates wood with dyes, applies paint, transfers images, waxes surfaces, discovers connections, and inks messages. Her restyling of plain-wood madrone vessels to colorful, dancing objects is synergetic. All dressed up, they invite closer inspection, reflection, and admiration.”


Read more here.