Todd Campbell is of Hawaiian, Chinese, and Scottish ancestry. Growing up in the Makiki area of Honolulu and having moved to Maui in 1978. His woodturning is a self-taught art, influenced by many different cultures with the strong feeling of traditional Hawaiian craft. Described as “pottery in wood,” his beautiful, functional pieces have found their way into private and permanent collections worldwide. Architects, interior designers, and art connoisseurs highly seek his award winning pieces. His pieces have been in numerous juried exhibits and have won many awards throughout the years.

With over 30 years of experience, Todd Campbell is considered a “master” by many in his field. He has developed advanced wood-turning methods to near perfection, creating massive, simple shapes that reveal the beautiful and intricate designs of nature. He works with the living essence of wood, delighting in the imperfections - a knothole, a whorl, a termite hole - that uniquely highlight each individual creation. Todd's "pottery in wood" has been enthusiastically accepted as a unique art form encompassing traditional and contemporary styles.

The wood turning methods developed by Todd are unorthodoxed: they involve a custom-made lathe & chisels, large lengths of trees, and plastic containers. Working primarily with Norfolk Pine, each piece requires approximately 9 months of preparation and crafting. A selected tree is cut into lengths, some of which weigh between 500 lbs to 600 lbs. Todd earmarks each length, determining at this point the size and general shape of a finished piece. He then encases each length in a plastic container, sealing it and allowing the wood to "sweat" for 2 months. This spalting period creates mildew within the wood which stains and mottles the wood, darkening it to a rich, deep color. After the two month period, the plastic container is removed resulting in the wood being sodden and heavier than before. A shop crane is used to lift the piece onto the lathe. This 'bowl blank' is then rough shaped to a thickness of 1 1/2 inches.

During the following 4 to 5 months, the "blank" is allowed to air dry. The piece warps, cracks, and gradually loses it's moisture eventually weighing only 30 lbs. At 6% moisture content, the wood is stable and ready for the final turning. Using custom-designed tools, Todd refines the vessel to a 3/16 inch thickness (with varying diameters of 3 inches to 50 inches and heights of 6 inches to 40 inches or more), sands it, and begins the finishing process

Several coats of a special oil-lacquer mixture are carefully applied over a period of weeks. The final step is to seal the piece with a hand-rubbed lacquere finish. The completed art piece is maintenance-free, massive, functional, and glowing with the warmth of the artist.

 

 

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