Our Enchanted Forest

Lyle's Story

lyle-jamiesonThis introduction of an exciting new form to the woodturning world has been provocative.  It required the technical mastery of multiple axis hollowing to capture the exquisite shape nature has created.  The work begins as a relationship between wood and form.  The grain reacts to the rounded surfaces of the human shape.  In all my work I try to reveal the beauty, color, and design of the wood.  Wood has always been a sensual medium for me, and to bring the emotion and graceful movement of the human figure into the mix has been stimulating and satisfying.  The fun has been the creative process of breathing life, beauty, and emotion into the form.

Lyle has been involved in both woodworking and turning from an early age.  His father, a pattern maker in Detroit, mentored him in the intricacies of wood, both structural and artistic.  As a result of this background, he got his start in the woodworking field.

Since 1988, from his home studio in Traverse City, Michigan,  Lyle has turned his attention to woodturning and has quickly developed a style that is both innovative in design and technically challenging.  While he began his work with traditional vessels and bowls, his creative energies and desire to cultivate his technique soon led him to attempt turning the human form.  Requiring a multi-axis approach versus the more traditional single axis, the work is complex, yet delicate.  The beauty of the human form allows the artist to employ grain elegantly.

Lyle developed a passion for woodturning around 1989.  His quest for learning technical skills for woodturning led him to work with the best and most respected masters in the woodturning field.  In 1998, Lyle became a full time studio turning artist/sculptor.

Lyle resides in a beautiful corner of northern Michigan.  He is a morning person and delights in viewing the sunrise from the screened-in porch overlooking the wetlands and pond behind his heavily-wooded, very private property near Traverse City, Michigan.  It is an inspirational setting for his lifelong desire to create sensational sculpture.  Lyle said: “It’s all about lifestyle, being happy with the work that I choose to do.”

Lyle’s artistic development has been built through a series of symposiums and workshops.  He has spent time at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee studying his craft with accomplished artists including Michael Peterson, David Ellsworth, and Hugh McKay.  He has attended American Association of Woodturners Symposiums from 1994 to the present.  Lyle has aldo participated in workshops with John Jordan, Clay Foster, Christian Burchard, Frank Sudol, Al Stirt, Trent Bosch, Dick Sing, Richard Raffin, Cindy Drozda and Andi Wolfe.

Today, Lyle is an accomplished teacher of woodturning technique.  He has been a demonstrator at AAW national and local chapter symposiums since 1996.  Lyle was a selected instructor featured in the 1997 AAW Symposium Video.  He is a frequent instructor at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Provo Symposium, Appliachian Center for Crafts and Brookfield Turning Center.  Additionally, Lyle is an Extended Education instructor in Woodturning at Northwestern Michigan College and does workshops and demonstrations for beginning and advanced students in his Traverse City studio.

As Lyle moved into more complex multi-axis turning he developed a tool system for hollow form turning.  An ongoing difficulty in woodturning has been the ergonomics of getting the hollowing tool into the vessel.  Traditionally, a turner would have to bend over the lathe during hollowing.  This position is often hard on the back and can cause damage to neck and back muscles over time.  This problem is further antagonized by the need for proper tool placement to achieve a perfect finish.  It was this problem that led Lyle to create the Jamieson Hollow Form Turning System for safer, in-control hollowing, that is fun, too.  The system creates a rest behind the main tool rest which simplifies the hollowing process.  A turner can stand beside the lathe and gently guide the cutter into the vessel.  The newest advancement has been the use of a laser beam measuring devise to accurately measure wall thickness of hollow forms.  The tool and other turning equipment can be purchased by contacting Lyle at 231-947-2348 orlyle@lylejamieson.com.

Lyle’s work has been displayed throughout the country including The Bohlen Collection at the Detroit Institute of Art in Detroit, Michigan, 2001; the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, Minnesota, 2001; Bella Galleria in Traverse City since 1994; Northwestern Michigan College Library Gallery in Traverse City since 1993; the Fitchburg Museum, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, 1994 and 1995; Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, 1998; Cleveland State University Art Gallery, Pathways Exhibit, 1998; University of Michigan Art Museum in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Permanent Collection 2004; Brigham Young University Museum of Art in Provo, Utah, 2004; and Nell Berger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, 2004.  His awards and honors include First Place, 1995, 1997 and 1998, Traverse Area Arts Council; First Place, 1998 Pathways Arts Council of Kalkaska, MI; Sculpture Award, 1997, Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, New Castle, PA; and Award winner, 1997, Canadian Woodturning Championships, British Columbia.

Lyle has written articles on woodturning technique for American Woodturner magazine in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2002.  He was a recipient of the “Editor’s Choice Award” for his 1996 article.  He has also written articles published in American Woodturner.

Lyle is the current President of Northwest Michigan Woodturners and a member of Northwest Michigan Artists and Craftsmen, Traverse Area Arts Council, Wood Turning Center, American Association of Woodturners, and Collectors of Wood Art.

Collectors all over the world own Lyle’s award-winning pieces.  Lyle’s sculptures are a celebration of the female form.  Jamieson says, “My goal has been to honor women and lift them up as artists have done for centuries.  The fun for me has been the creative process of breathing life, beauty, and emotion, into the form.  The sensual texture of skin is compatible with the look and feel of the grain and color of wood.  My intention is to share this beauty with the rest of the world.”

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