Tom Terrell

Most of what I do is turned on a lathe at some point. There are other tools involved, but the lathe is the key piece. Every piece is handmade, so each piece is individual. I use a variety of materials, including cast acrylics, soft metals, composites, and exotic wood species, but mostly I use local woods. I also believe that finishes on wood are just fun! I embellish pieces with metal leaf, liquid metals, semi-precious stones, inlay materials and dyes to add visual interest.

One profound influence is genealogy. I am, like most Americans, an amalgam of many different ethnic and cultural influences. The strongest of these for me are my American Indian and my Irish roots. My “heritage” series is based on the coiled and hand-shaped pots that have been made by the Cherokee and Choctaw for thousands of years. I have tried to replicate the feel and shape of these pots using the hardwoods found in the areas where my ancestors lived.

Finally, I believe that everything that I make should be useful. If I make a bowl, I want it to be able to hold things. I want my products to be durable and designed for function. I also cook, so many of my items are food-centric. I am happy if people gather their families around the table for great times and my bowls, in some small way, add to that experience.