The Enchanted WoodTrurners of Santa Fe NM

TEW Meeting Nov 12, 2018

Monday- 6PM- November 12, 2018  Enchanted Woodturners Meeting

We will meet at ECO Woodworking Shop, see driving & parking diagram attached, and look at the ECO location on Google Satellite to see it better.

 Subject:  Woodturner as Sculptor  Presenter:  Bob Rotche

The first half of Bob’s presentation will be an interactive slide presentation and discussion about (a) sculpture in general and (b) how what we do as woodturners intersects with the world of sculpture. The second half will be a demonstration of several texturing, carving and painting techniques that can be used to make our turnings and sculptures more unique. Bob’s website www.bobrotche.com has quite a few examples of the kind of work he does.

Don’t know Bob? … Bob has worked with wood in one way or another for most of his life. It wasn’t, however, until the demands of career and family lessened over the past 5-10 years that he has been able to re-discover the joy of making.

Bob was raised in the Chicago area in a family where creating art was a normal part of everyday life. His mom frequently had an easel set up in the living room to work on her oil paintings;  and his grandparents, who lived in the apartment below, also routinely worked on paintings, jewelry making and various other arts and crafts. Despite a love of working with his hands, Bob’s path took a different direction.  Bob went to college and medical school at the University of Illinois and then did his residency in Internal Medicine at Loyola University and went on to specialize in Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has been in private practice ever since.  Bob met his wife, Brigitte, at the U of I and she is a pediatrician.  Bob & Brigitte lived in Philadelphia and then moved to Blacksburg, a college town in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia where they raised their two children and where they continue to enjoy small town living and the abundance of outdoor activities in the area.  Their first child,  Adam,  is 28 and works as a high school science teacher at Blacksburg High School where he graduated from and lives about a mile away from them. Their daughter, Lindsey, is 24 and currently living in Santa Fe working ski patrol at Ski Santa Fe, which is why they are in the area visiting.

Bob & Brigitte are avid hikers and travelers and have been doing international treks yearly for the past 5 years; they have climbed Machu Picchu in Peru, summited Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, did the Tour de Mont Blanc in Europe, Mount Everest base camp in Nepal and most recently Patagonia making it all the way down to Cape Horn. They live about a half hour drive from the Appalachian Trail and hike local sections regularly and also enjoy canoeing on the local rivers and streams.

Bob restored a 1975 Triumph Spitfire about 10 years ago which is something he had wanted to do since high school, but found that for him it was all about the project rather than actually having it to drive.  So he sold it a couple of years after finishing the Triumph to make room for an expanded wood shop and he hasn’t looked back.  Bob says: “I just needed to get it out of my system.”

It was a birthday gift of a one day introductory class at Woodcraft that Brigitte gave Bob in 2010 that reignited his passion for woodworking.  Bob subsequently took a week long class at John C Campbell with Dale Larson on bowl turning which really solidified his basic turning skills as well as his obsession for the craft.  But it was really his exposure to the AAW national symposia that opened his eyes to the incredible creative possibilities evolving in the world of woodturning. He credits participation in the AAW themed exhibitions every year since 2014 as being his greatest motivator in developing his current interest in sculptural forms with a focus on color and texture.  Bob has taken classes at John Campbell with Dixie Biggs and Trent Bosch and then assisted Dixie with her class for a week. He also did a week with Jacques Vesery at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine and a week with Kristin Levier at Arrowmont. Bob also had a 2 week long blacksmithing classes at Campbell. Bob LOVES the craft school experience and hope to start teaching at them in the next few years.  Bob considers Jaques Vesery and Dixie Biggs to be his greatest influences.

Bob’s focus at this point is to be creatively open and to explore the world of sculpture, currently with a focus on wood but open to experimenting with other materials which have included metal and stone to this point. He is influenced by his travels, visits to museums and galleries and making an effort to really “see” the world around him, both natural and man-made. He encourages experimentation and taking chances often saying, “Failure not only IS an option, it is a REQUIREMENT!  If you never fail then you’re not pushing your limits.” He is fascinated by shapes and curves, the juxtaposition of organic and geometric and the relationship of positive and negative space. He sees turning as a wonderful launching point into the larger world of sculpture in general.


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