June 29, 2014: MCGAG visits Binh Pho

It was a great privilege to join other MCGAG members in visiting Binh Pho’s home studio on June 29th. The warm welcome and lovely glimpse into Mr. Pho’s creative work space left us wishing we could have lingered there a bit longer. We were greeted by Graeme Priddle, Pho’s jovial colleague and talented fellow wood turner in his own right from New Zealand.

Our lovely tour began with a sneak peak into Mr. Pho’s wood shed behind his studio which included an impressive array of woods in all shapes and sizes from all over the world. Each block of wood, was like a dream in suspended animation, awaiting Pho’s masterful and soulful handiwork to awaken it.

When we entered Pho’s 1500 square foot studio space we observed a wide collection of wood turning tools and machinery as well as a variety of delightful works in progress. He then treated us to a wood turning demonstration as he carved out a block of box elder wood with its reddish streaks shaping it into a bowl ever-so-thin, allowing light to shine through it.

Pho also went on to demonstrate how he uses a powerful dental tool to carve out the intricate, lacy details found in much of his work. He explained that he came to incorporate glass in his work dating back to 2006. He described how he is able to take a “master” of his fragile wood carved pieces and then create a copy in resin of the original shape. This allows him to keep the original intact. Through lost wax technique he is able to achieve his vision in glass and very effectively communicate his story.

There is no doubt after meeting Binh Pho , he will carve out a special place in the hearts of those who take the time to get to know his incredible journey.

Article by Brandie Dunn, photos by Brandie Dunn and Marilyn Cohen.  Click on photos to enlarge.

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