Roger Olson


Artist Statement


Roger loves discovering the inner form of wood

The size, shape and train of each type of wood blank helps determine what it will become.

Many decisions are made as I turn. Sometimes taking a piece of work off the lathe and giving it a long look helps determine what is right or wrong.  An eighth of an inch can make all the difference. I learn to trust my eye.  New expressions come from not being afraid to challenge an original idea.
In my bowls and vases I enjoy classic forms the best.  There really is nothing new to turn as far as shape; it’s all been done somewhere.  Certain forms always return because they look the best, so I strive to present these.
With my flowers, I try to portray emotions people can relate to. I’m amazed by the action that can be expressed in simple form.  By relating what is common to everyday life, I hope to evoke a smile or feelings of nostalgia.
I love wood and the freedom of expressing what I want each turning to be.

The bowls, vases and playful objects he creates from local maple, russian olive and such wood as elm attest to his desire to create with his hands.
Roger first turns the wood on a lathe into the desired shape.  He then alters the object through carving, sewing, staining, painting, ebonizing or all of the aforementioned methods.  Roger will often maneuver the piece of work a number of different ways to develop his particular vision.

From a whimsical piece that elicits images of Alice in Wonderland to an elegant maple burl bowl that has a touch of pink, Roger's work shows both his craftsmanship and his imagination.

Roger takes part in Woodturning Conferences across Western Canada.  His work has received high honours in the Alberta Woodworking and Tool Shows as well as other woodturning exhibits.  Roger has had two solo exhibitions at our gallery.  

Roger Olson lives in Southern Alberta.  He is a cabinetmaker by trade and has turned wood for a number of years.

Private Collections:

Governor General of Canada
and other private collections in Hong Kong, Japan, Europe, United States and Canada.