Mike Phillips


artist mike turnerHand Carved Decorative Wood Vessels

Using a lathe plus hand-carving, I create decorative vessels made of alabaster or wood, and some unique vessels combining the two. My vessels range from 3 to 22 inches in diameter, with shapes inspired by Pueblo Indian pottery and basketry, especially from the Acoma Tribe.

The woods I use are grown all over the world, especially in Hawaii and the Western United States. Two especially interesting woods from Hawaii are Milo, which was used by royal Hawaiians for ceremonial objects, and Norfolk Island Pine. This type of pine grows with knots spaced uniformly around the trunk, creating “eyes” in the finished vessel. The dark streaks in the wood are created by a natural process called “spalting”.

My wood vessels will keep their luster with an occasional application of oil, and by not being exposed to bright sunlight over long periods of time, which will darken the wood.

Artist Mike Phillips Background and Training

I was born in New Mexico and am a direct descendent of the Choctaw Indians. I began turning wood years ago, and began working with alabaster after a visit to Tuscany, Italy, where I was introduced to alabaster as an art medium. My formal technique training has been through wood-turning seminars from internationally-known turners. However, more important to the artistry of my pieces has been intensive self-study of Southwest Indian basketry and pottery, from which I have developed the shapes of my vessels.

View Mike Phillips’ Work…

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