Spotlight: Matt Moulthrop, Auburn Oak Bowl

 Auburn Oak Bowl

Matt Moulthrop represents his family’s third generation to excel in the art of fine woodturning. Benefitting from the experience of both his father Philip and grandfather Ed, Matt turned his first wood bowl on a lathe at the age of seven. Following undergraduate studies at the University of Georgia and completion of a Masters of Business Administration from Georgia Institute of Technology, he embarked on a typical business career. Yet, Matt, too, soon succumbed to the pull of the lathe and he has worked professionally as a woodturner since apprenticing with Ed and Philip Moulthrop from 1993 through 2002.

Matt continues a legacy of innovation in the art of woodturning, advancing techniques in finishes and exploring atypical rotational axes for the wood on the lathe. He is often drawn to a confluence of limbs and trunk that, when cut across the grain, reveals dramatically patterned surfaces. His Auburn Oak Bowl created for JCSM is a particularly striking example resulting from his insights into the hidden potential within a section of the tree. As he explains: “Each tree has a story to tell. Worm holes convey past life, rings communicate growth, and certain colors tell the story of death by lightning or blight. My job is to tell the story…lengthening the life of the tree rather than ending it.”

Matt Moulthrop’s vessels are placed in prominent collections across the United States, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and the Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution.

Pictured right: Matt Moulthrop (American, b. 1977), Auburn Oak Bowl, Quercus virginiana, (southern live oak), Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; gift of the artist.

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