I am a full-time woodturner and ornamental turner. Woodturning is done at a lathe. The lathe holds and spins the wood, while the artisan holds cutting tools against the spinning wood to carve the wood into shapes. Working with the lathe allows me a vast amount of creative freedom; combining lush forms with stunning natural materials. Incorporating features such as natural edges, bark, and voids in a sensually pleasing form is one way of honoring the infinite variety that nature creates.
For more information, please visit our business web site: Standing People Designs There you can find more about our business, pictures, and biographical information for both Alisa and me.
You can see a portfolio of my work on our business website. There are also pictures of Alisa's work, our show booth, and collaborative works by the two of us.
For you woodturners and other wood-nuts, I have compiled a list of woodturning and woodwoorking resources! It even includes the handout from my demo for the Front Range Woodturners in January of 2002
Ornamental Turning is an art form that reached its peak in the Victorian Era. It is very complex, and requires specialized equipment. Two of the great machine makers in England were Holtzapffel family and Evans. I am working on modern techniques that allow me to do much of the same types of work on a standard lathe.
To the right is a box made using these techniques. It is made from cocobolo, and measures 2.5 inches tall by 1.75 inches in diameter. It is titled "Star Box #1". See more of my ornamental turnings.
Much of my other interests revolve around Native American dance,
music, and culture. I have been dancing and singing for more than
35 years. My Great-great grandfather claimed to be Ute. There is
no way to trace or register tribal affiliations. I am very proud of
my American Indian heritage. My wife and I are active in the Denver
To help carry on my Grandfather's traditions, I serve as Advisor and a teacher for The Raven Dancers. We teach Native American dance, singing, culture, and craft. For more information, visit the Raven's Website
The Raven Dancers sponsor the annual Spring Bear Pow-wow. It is an old-style, fellowship pow-wow with no contests. Spring Bear usually happens on Armed Forces Day, so we honor our warriors. Spring Bear Pow-wow is open to all, including those from across the Great Water. Follow the pow-wow trail by clicking the Spring Bear logo on the right.
I am an avid Native American Flute player. I have played at weddings, funerals, and other occassions. Follow this link for more on Native American Style Flutes.
I also own a small consulting firm, Great Bear Productions. We do custom theatrical construction and upholstery, audio production, and web design.
I would love to hear from you. You can email me at: matotanka @ yahoo . com