At a very young age Rudy began to develop his creative eye through photography, his first artistic pursuit. and began his relationship with wood as a craftsman of fine furniture and cabinetry. With an education in drafting and design, and many years working as a professional photographer the transition into woodturning has been a seemless flow into another creative endeavor.
Rudy's energetic easy-going personality and his ability to explain woodturning techniques in a simple understandable manner have allowed him to share his skills and enthusiasm for woodturning through teaching and demonstrating at regional and national symposia and clubs across the country, as well as conducting workshops in his Tampa studio and instructing at schools including Arrowmont School of Arts and Craft, John C. Campbell Folk School, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, the Center For Funiture Craftsmanship and The Florida School of Woodwork.
I have always had a love of natural objects and the environment in which those objects flourish. My adolescence was spent pursuing anything and everything outdoors and with that came my love of wood. I spent much of my life on my uncle’s cattle ranch near Tampa, Florida. All the many days spent with my father and uncles working cows and being in the woods gave me a great appreciation for the out-of-doors, and all things relating to nature. To this day, my greatest pleasures come from enjoying nature with my wife hiking, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, kayaking, and just being in the woods.
I love everything about wood, rough or smooth; it possesses a warm welcome feel. Wood grows from the earth with its endless earthy color variations and the swirling grain patterns of burls and knotty woods. Wood has an unlimited potential for creativity but also flaws and faults, cracks, knots, and other defects which sometimes make it difficult to work with. This is my favorite kind of wood.
Wood is an imperfect medium, yet I never cease to be amazed by the incredible amount of beauty to be found in it as I create a new turning. To me this is the beauty that God and nature has provided me with as a starting point, then it becomes a challenge to continue this and create something of beauty for others to enjoy.
I feel my goal as an artistic woodturner is to bring out this beauty and enhance it to create something that invites the eye and beckons the touch. I prefer simple shapes with flowing lines that showcase but preserve and reflect the natural characteristics of the wood, thus becoming something of beauty for many to enjoy for years to come.
- Rudolph Lopez