Tall Boy – Wooden Sculpture by Harvey Fein

Harvey Fein

This piece is part of WOODn’t You Like to Know, the current exhibition in the Folk Art Center’s Main Gallery.


This piece is part of WOODn’t You Like to Know, the current exhibition in the Folk Art Center’s Main Gallery.  This exceptional selection of wooden sculpture has been curated by John Hill, the exhibition coordinator of the American Association of Woodturners.

  • Cocobolo; router carving
  • 9″ x 3″
  • This piece is NOT FOR SALE
  • Made in 2016

“If asked, those who know would say that I’m in love with the mechanics of things.  I need to know how things work. While in college, I earned spending money as a mechanist and used to imagine that when I retired I’d work in a machine shop again for fun.  But a much better future announced itself to me when, in 1997, a friend gave me a wooden bowl he had made, and then showed me how he had made it. Holding the gouge in my hand for the first time, I knew that this was for me. I bought my first lathe that very afternoon.

As I moved away from imitating the many generous teachers and critics I encountered both in person, on the page, and on video, I saw that my creativity and my skills as a machinist and a maker (I have been manufacturing window treatments for 45 years) were showing up in my turnings. What started out as a desire to find a way to insert pieces of a contrasting wood in the rim of an open-form bowl, eventually evolved into the fixture that enables me to make the work that I do now.  The jig components grow and change as I have new ideas I want to try. New designs come to me as fully completed objects from which I work backwards in my head figuring out the steps required to make them. When I work them forwards as I put them down on paper before going to the lathe.

The mechanical process, which is so familiar to me, has been incomparably enriched and deepened by the addition of the aesthetic concerns involved in making a successful piece in wood. It pleases me a lot to think that in looking at my work you might experience some of the joy I have in making it.”

Harvey Fein’s work is in collections at Museum of Arts & Design, NY, NY, Figge Art Museum, Davenport IA, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA and Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH, as well as other collections. His work has been exhibited in many galleries throughout the country and he has been published in Lark Books, Asheville NC; American Association of Woodturners’ Woodturning magazine; Fox Chapel Publishing and Schiffer Publishing.