George Westbrook

 

Background


1989-Present

​Craftsman, designing and turning alabaster. Shown at Philadelphia Museum Art Sales and Rental Gallery; Harbor Square Gallery, Rockland, ME; Orbits Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Kebanu Gallery, Kauai, HI; American Hand Gallery, Washington, DC; Island Artisans, Northeast Harbor, ME; Carlyn Gallery, Dallas, TX; Maienza Wilson Design Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA; Collectors Fine Art, Canoga Park, CA and Kauai, HI; Artful Image, Concord, MA; www.Guild.com; Patina Gallery, Santa Fe, NM. Commission work completed for A.M. South Bank, Birmingham, AL and private clients. 

July 1995-1999
Instructor at Touchstone Center for Crafts, course on lathe-turned alabaster, sponsored by Pioneer Crafts Council, Farmington, Pennsylvania.

1983-1988
​Craftsman in wood. Projects include designing and building 2000 sq. ft. modern cape with 2400 sq. ft. workshop, studio and garage. Refurbishing a 31' sloop. Building and designing contemporary furniture, cabinets, and display units.

1978-1980
Apprentice at the Apprenticeshop, Bath Marine Museum, Bath, ME. Two-year boatbuilding program emphasizing handcraftsmanship.

1974-1978
​First mate and crew, sailing around the world on a 73' ketch. Areas visited: Mediterranean, West Indies, South Pacific, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Seychelles, Sudan and Egypt.

George Westbrook

I have built boats and circumnavigated the world, and now, from my studio in Rockport, Maine, I use alabaster and soapstone to create art inspired by these experiences. 

​Turning alabaster on a lathe, I specialize in urn-shaped pieces that feature rims and lids of fine wood or soapstone. Few people are working in alabaster, so the uniqueness of the medium makes my work interesting to the public. I started working with the stone in 1989. Since then my work has appeared in galleries and shows throughout the United States.

​Trained as a woodworker, I apply some of the same techniques used for that medium to craft exquisite alabaster creations. As with wood, alabaster is turned on a lathe. Some pieces may start off as 60 to 80 pound blocks of raw stone, that are eventually sculpted away until what remains is a five-pound finished piece.

​Inspired by an article in a woodworking magazine, I was curious to see if lathe-turning could be applied to stone media. Turning stone seemed very interesting, and not many people were doing it. When I go to shows, people are just astounded that one can turn stone. They always think it's really hard, but alabaster is only a 2 or 3 mohs (the international standard for measuring the relative hardness of stone). Diamonds are a 10, granite 5, marble 3 on the hardness scale.

​I have been a craftsman in wood for the past twenty-five years. My current images have been inspired by my extensive travels, sailing throughout the world, and by my building and repairing of fine yachts and traditional boats. Broadening my craft to the unique medium of alabaster and soapstone has further enabled me to explore my curvilinear designs.

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