Matt has followed in the stylistic tradition of his father and grandfather, using a lathe and hand-forged tools to turn logs into sculpture. He commonly uses trees native to the South – wild cherry, box elder, sycamore, white pine, red and silver maple. "I was an overnight success, but it took 25 years," jokes Matt, who began learning the art of woodturning from his grandfather, Ed, and father, Philip, when he was still a boy. Matt turned his first bowl at the age of seven. "For a long time, I didn't have any aspirations of selling the work. I did it just for fun.” While he was in college, Matt learned how to apply finishes to the wood pieces. By the time he started graduate school, his skills had developed to the point that he was able to help his grandfather, who was suffering from a physically debilitating condition, complete his last few pieces. Ed Moulthrop died in 2003. Matt, has worked full-time as a wood turner since 2004.
"Being a third generation wood turner, it seems I have spent my entire life surrounded by wood. As a young adult, I learned that the artistry of woodturning comes not from the hand, but from the eye. Being able to “see” the shape of the bowl has been a legacy and a gift I have tried to improve upon with my own vision and version of style, form, and texture. I strive to blend both tradition and innovation into an art form that honors my legacy and creates a new one."
Watch this studio tour to learn more about the artistic process behind these iconic wood turned bowls.