Steve Sinner: Master Woodturner


Having worked with wood as his primary medium for more than 50 years, local artist Steve Sinner has mastered the art of woodturning. Woodturning is the process of fastening wood to a lathe that rotates around a centralized axis, allowing artists to use a series of chisels, gouges and other implements to carve away portions of the raw wood to create symmetrical forms. Traditionally, this process was used to create furniture legs, tool handles and other household implements. Sinner is one of a number of artists who use this technique to create finely crafted vessels. These vessels often have walls thinner than 1/8 inch, transforming rough blocks of wood into elegant forms. 

The surface of Sinner’s vessels range from meticulously rendered geometric forms based on algorithms to figurative allegories. These designs are created from a combination of mediums, including acrylic paint, gold leaf, ink and urethane. Other surfaces are embellished by selectively removing sections of the vessel, producing a screen of perforations that allow light to permeate the form. 

In addition to his independent work, Sinner seeks out local artists like Katie Kiley and Joe Meirhaeghe with whom to collaborate. The resulting works are remarkable combinations of form, material and surface decoration. 

Steve Sinner: Master Woodturner highlights nearly 30 examples of Sinner’s solo work and collaborations as well as his innovations within the art form. 

On view February 17-June 24, 2018

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Media sponsor: WQPT-TV


Companion Event
Thursday, February 22
5:30 p.m. Opening Reception
6:30 p.m. Artist Talk
Bettendorf artist Steve Sinner presents “An Improbable Journey,” the story of how he set out to gain recognition in the woodturning world. 

image: Steve Sinner, (American, b.1942), Ant Farm III, #1335, 2003, maple, gold leaf and pigment, Gift of the Artist, 2005.74