Artists » Stephen Gleasner

Stephen GleasnerStephen Gleasner is a published writer, veteran woodturner, long distance cyclist and self proclaimed mad-man with over 25 years of experience in all four. Currently, he specializes in the carved and dyed wall pieces he calls “Plyscapes” and turned vessels that explore the patterning possibilities of Baltic Birch plywood. This material is imported from Finland and used in aeronautical applications. Its veneers are all “clear”, meaning free from knots and imperfections that may weaken the wood, and very thin. He uses a lathe for his vessels, and carves with hand tools to create the highly unusual, stunning plyscapes. He applies German dyes to the work when the actual constructing is done. This is a risky process that can quickly go wrong. No one else in the world – as far as we can find – has ever attempted this technique. Stephen considers his “tools” artistic implements as opposed to utilitarian items in his work – like paintbrushes to a painter.

Stephen considers his lathe much less a power tool and much more an artistic implement in his work. He literally sculpts into the wood until something resembling a horizon or landscape emerges. This may or may not happen, and whether a finished piece will result in the effort depends on the luck of the take. Typically there is about a 1/8″ relief in the carving, which is far greater than the thickness of the individual layers of wood that are laminated together. He then uses German dyes, as opposed to stain or paint, to create the color. He very carefully applies and removes the color until he achieves the desired result, sometimes mixing cocktails of several colors. This is a scary process that can make or break the piece. Finally, when all of the stars are aligned and a work of art has been completed, he makes his frames with traditional furniture making skills – by hand- to match. Each piece is entirely unique.

Stephen Gleasner is now a full time Maine artist and writer. He has been a faculty member of the acclaimed Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockland, Maine since 2004. He has been featured in many publications nationally, including the renowned Robb Report and Luxury Home Magazines, and a full segment on the television program Made in Maine.

“There are layers in life. There are layers in plywood. Cutting through the layers in just the right way, results in a life worth living, or a piece of artwork worth owning.”

  • Woodturning Design Magazine, Cover, Fall 2006
  • Bangor Daily News, May 24, 2005 feature article
  • The Robb Report Luxury Home, Spring 2005 feature article
  • The Crafts Report, April 2005, nomination, People to Watch in 2005
  • Woodwork Magazine, February 2005 Gallery feature
  • Home Magazine, December 2004 feature article
  • Made in Maine television program feature, Maine Public Television 2004
  • Luxury Living Magazine, Summer 2004 feature article
  • Portland Press Herald, October 5, 2003 feature article
  • American Woodturner, Summer 2005 back cover feature
  • Wood Art Today by Dona Meilach, Published by Schiffer Publishing 2003
  • 500 Wood Bowls, Published by Lark Books 2004

Selected Collections:

Contemporary Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI

Education:

1984 Bachelor of Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Teaching:

2004-2008 Guest instructor, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, ME
2004 Demonstrator, AAW national symposium, Orlando, FL
2003 Demonstrator, Fourth New England Woodturning Symposium, Derry, NH
Demonstrator, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show
2002 Demonstrator, AAW national symposium, Providence, RI
Demonstrator, Maine Woodturner’s Association
1999-2001 Demonstrator, Maine Woodturner’s Association
1997 Demonstrator, Smithsonian’s Renwick Festival of American Craft
1996-1997 Demonstrator, Art Fest, Ann Marie Sculptural Gardens, Solomons Island, MD
1996-1998 Instructor, Beginning and Intermediate Woodturning, Maryland Hall for Creative Arts

Born 1961, Buffalo, NY

2007

  • Solo exhibition with Dane Gallery, Nantucket, Massachusetts
  • Annual faculty exhibition Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, Maine
  • 7th Annual Sculptural Wood Invitational, American Art Company, Tacoma, Washington

2006

  • Annual faculty exhibition Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, Rockport, Maine
  • Sequences and Consequences, Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, Maryland
  • Gatherings, Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown Maryland

2005

  • A Nation of Enchanted Form, Traveling Exhibit, St. Paul, Minnesota, Rockport, Maine
  • Woodworkers of Midcoast Maine, Messler Gallery, Rockport, Maine
  • 6th Annual Sculptural Wood Invitational, Tacoma, Washington

2004

  • Small Treasures, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, California
  • Woodworkers of Midcoast Maine, Center for Furniture Craftsmanship
  • 5th North American Sculptured Wood Invitational, American Art Company, Tacoma, WA

2003

  • Fiji Art in Embassies Exhibition, US Department of State, Suva, Fiji
  • 4th North American Sculptural Wood Invitational, American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
  • Small Treasures 2003, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • Turned Wood 2003, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • SOFA New York with del Mano Gallery
  • Collectors of Wood Art Santa Fe with del Mano Gallery
  • SOFA Chicago with Jerald Melberg Gallery
  • ARTform, Palm Beach with Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC
  • Solo exhibition with Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, North Carolina

2002

  • Best New Artist Award, Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show
  • Illuminating 20 years of American Craft, Sansar, Bethesda, MD
  • Past Present and Future, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport ME
  • Branching Out, Ellipse Arts Center, Arlington, VA
  • Small Treasures 2002, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • SOFA Chicago with del Mano Gallery

2001

  • New Works in Wood, Gallery Materia, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Small Treasures 2001, del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
  • Turned Wood 2001, del Mano Galler, Los Angeles, CA
  • 3rd North American Sculptural Wood Invitational, American Art Company, Tacoma, WA
  • SOFA Chicago with del Mano Gallery
  • SOFA New York with del Mano Gallery

Comments are closed.