Volcano Art Center Featured Artists

Gene Buscher

Gene Buscher was trained as a draftsman, but decided to take up woodworking when he left his native California to live on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. He says, “I had a carver friend who let me be his apprentice, and he showed me how to do the kind of carving I use to make my bowls.”

Gene follows the natural form of whatever piece of wood he uses. “I don’t like trying to invent a shape. For me, the challenge is to let the natural material tell me what it wants to do. On some of my bowls, I leave the edges raw, just as they came from the log.”

None of the wood for Gene’s bowls is cut from living trees. “I harvest all my material by hand from stumps or downed branches. It’s really more like salvage work.”

Gene uses a spindle carver which consists of a three-tool metal shaft with a high-speed blade on one end. The inside surfaces are smoothed with a hand-held grinder and then sanded and oiled with mineral oil.