Using a lathe and hand tools, wood artist Craig Lossing builds detailed boxes and sculptural pieces from turned components, often combining different species for color play and definition of forms. He is interested in applying traditional woodturning techniques to go beyond functionality, creating technically challenging and visually stunning works of art.
The artist selects highly figured woods from around the world and the most interesting domestic burls. Many of Craig’s pieces are hollow, almost closed forms, crafted by mounting a block of wood on only one side and carving out the center while it is spinning on the lathe. These works are challenging: after Craig has made the outside form he must remove all the wood inside through a small mouth at the top. He does this using bent tools and states that he is essentially carving blind, relying on skill to keep from going through the side and to keep the wall thickness even. Hollow forms with natural holes are even more difficult as the carving tool may catch on the opening at any moment, destroying the entire piece. Works with lids and ornamental spears, with their tight tolerances and delicate designs, reflect the artist’s mastery of this medium
After each piece is completed and parted from the lathe, it typically must dry for a few days. The pieces are sanded before a finishing oil is applied. Preferring wood’s natural beauty, Craig does not use any stains.
Craig’s work is included in the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Historical Society and Yale University and has been featured national magazines and art books. He resides with his family in Lino Lakes, MN.