Betty Scarpino - Indianapolis, Indiana






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Betty Scarpino’s woodturning career began with taking woodworking classes at the University of Missouri, where she earned her degree in industrial arts. After graduating, she focused on woodturning, joined the AAW, and by the mid 1990s, began to demonstrate and teach. Cutting apart turned forms and carving, painting, and texturing on woodturnings describe her work today.

Betty was editor-in-chief of American Woodturner from 2009-2014. After returning to full-time making, she kickstarted her career by participating as an invited artist in a carving competition in Dongyang, China. In 2016, she was the photojournalist for the eight-week Windgate International Turning Exchange Residency in Philadelphia, sponsored by the Center for Art in Wood. 

More than two dozen museums have Betty’s work in their permanent collection and her turned-and-carved sculptures can be found in major private collections. She also teaches, demonstrates, and writes articles on woodturning-related topics.

Demo titles and descriptions

Turn! Cut! Carve!

Turn a disc, cut it apart, and voila! a candleholder. Or, perhaps this turned form will become the basis for a sculpture. We are all enamored of turned forms, but why not dig deeper? Carve into discs, pods, and spindles! Cut them apart! After turning a disc and a pod, I will demonstrate how to safely bandsaw them apart using a sacrifice-jig. Then on to carving … rotary or reciprocating? Learn the basics of and reason for each method.

From Brown to Blue: Embellishing Wood

Perhaps painting over woodgrain is too drastic for your woodgrain-loving tastes? The path to paint, though, begins subtly with bleaching, dying, and texturing. With knowledge of a few simple techniques, you can begin personalizing your own turned bowls, boxes, and platters. The next thing you know, you’ve grabbed a paintbrush and obliterated woodgrain. Let the fun begin!

Form and Design: Bowls and Beyond

This interactive, fast-paced PowerPoint presentation showcases the turned work of dozens of artists, bowls to sculpture, utilitarian to conceptual. I start with discussing basic bowl design and then progress through conceptual considerations. Interactive audience participation is encouraged.

My Journey: 40+ Years with Wood

From my first spindle turning in college in the 1970s to my present-day sculpture, I show images from various time periods and discuss motivations, early influences, and current thinking about the role woodturning plays in my sculptures. Questions and comments from the audience are encouraged.