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About Harold Solberg

Harold’s farm upbringing instilled in him an inherent knowledge of fabrication. Farm life is synonymous with the continual task of fixing machines and buildings. On a farm this often means fabricating parts. As a result, Harold is intuitively and inherently a maker, constantly problem solving and “seeing” how a root ball or a rough logs hidden beauty can be drawn out into the light of day - its grain and color already there, waiting.  The artistry lies in allowing us to see it.

    Harold’s fascination in revealing this texture, grain pattern, figuring, color, line, form and iridescence, sets his work apart.  No two pieces are the same, nothing is forced upon the wood.  The wood dictates its own final form, use, and color.  Harold shows us expertly what was hidden beneath the bark.

    Harold sources wood locally from unexpected sources: storm damaged trees or architectural salvage - to name a few.  Exotic woods are also a part of the mix, never tiring of the adventure a new piece represents, Harold is invigorated by the process.

    This wood crafting journey began on a basic lathe, which quickly succumbed to its continual use.  Inspired by a 1986 Robert Stockdale seminar, Harold acquired more capable tools to hone his craft. The intimacy of the tools allow the artisan to feel the woods natural curves and make precise movements.  Vessels start from green, wet wood turned to a rough shape, then carefully dried to control shrinkage which can result in cracks if done incorrectly.  Once dry and stable, the vessel is finish turned to its final shape, sanded, and refined.  Methodical sequential sanding, three coats of a food safe finish, and buffing assure a soft and durable glow.  The final vessel is a physical and visual balance. Bark, worm holes, and other natural features others might fill to conceal often remain in Harold’s hands, becoming essential to the vessels beauty and tell the wood’s story more completely, resulting in a usable piece.

    Harold now celebrates his fiftieth year of wood turning with a new world class Robust lathe, designed and built in Barneveld, WI. Its advanced solid state motor control provides a powerful, flexible variable speed drive, providing more control and capacity.

    Harold is an active member of Wisconsin Woodturners and the American Association of Woodturners.  


He shares his skills and provides inspiration, coming full circle to Stockdale’s seminar. He is often seen participating in community events with turning demos for adults and children, inspiring the next generation.

represented at:

Artists Gallery

401 N Main St

Racine, WI 53403

(262) 635-9332

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