While I never received any formal training, I was very fortunate to have a father who was a superb teacher and humanitarian. He taught me that anyone could do whatever they wanted to do, and be outstanding at it, if they put their mind to it. I believed him, and it worked. I had another teacher who I never met, Albert Einstein, who said imagination is much more important than knowledge.
I tried a number of media and cast most of them aside. These included watercolor, oils, pen and ink, then sculpting. Voila! I found my niche, but not without some trials and pitfalls. At first, I worked with stone and metal, but for me these materials were cold…unfeeling.
Then I discovered wood, a wonderful material that had warmth, figure, texture and color. It also displayed strength, yet could be shaped to convey flexibility and delicacy. This was my medium. I further discovered that wood was available in every natural color except blue. Wow! I became a purist, and resolved never to use stains, but to employ the natural colors. The exception was when I made replicas of period furniture, and wanted the colors to be authentic.
My casual meeting years earlier with a wonderful artisan, George Nakashima in New Hope, PA, was a valuable one. He taught me how to study a piece of wood before cutting it, to bring out the best in this universal material. He also taught me how important metrication is….the art of careful measurement.
So, I became an artist. My easel is a lathe. My brushes are chisels. My palette is a multitude of colored wood. My inspiration is my father Chaim, a nature lover named Albert and a furniture maker named George. They taught me to love and cherish this beautiful world around us.
BioStein was born at a very early age. After a nondescript childhood, he served in the Army for three years during WWII. He was graduated from George Washington University and worked at the National Bureau of Standards and other research facilities, as an early computer pioneer. During this period he pursued graduate work at the University of Maryland. His second greatest achievement was heading up the design team for the Apollo Mission Simulator. But numero uno, was being offered a teaching position at GWU, where taught for 26 years.
When he retired, he became a community volunteer and artist. In 1999 he won the coveted Path of Achievement Award which designated him Living Treasure in the State of Maryland. In 2002 he was invited twice to lecture and demonstrate advanced wood-turning techniques (segmented turning) at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. By 2004, the Steins moved to North Texas to be near their grandchildren. In 2006, Stein was summoned back to Washington to receive a National award on Capitol Hill: Distinguished Senior for 2006. Meanwhile, in 2008 and again in 2010 he received two more awards from the D.A.R. for his civic activity.
His loves are quite numerous, but topped by: nature, woodturning and sculpting, classical music and his wife Carol, although not necessarily in that order. Carol is also a turner, and, if asked, Murray will tell you a very funny story that can’t be printed here. What? No list of a hundred galleries that have hosted his work? No! But he has bragging rights for having been in five Museums including the Smithsonian.
For more about Murray, visit: woodizgood.deviantart.com
Contact Murray at email@example.com
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