I consider myself a functional artist. My work is intended to be used rather than hang on a wall. Thus, the overall design of my work is dictated by its intended use. But the individual elements of the design are inspired by natural forms. I like to let the materials speak for themselves.
My work takes the form of writing instruments: mechanical pencils, all types of pens and desk accessories. For oenophiles, I offer wine stoppers and bottle openers. I make bowls for popcorn, and lidded boxes if you have something to hide.
The main materials I use are wood, metal, and stone like the natural edge Desert Ironwood bowl in the image. Occasionally I venture into materials even more exotic, like antler, ivory, nuts and skins. These are primal and they carry with them a basic expression of earthiness. They age with dignity by forming patinas that reflect their use.
Richard Altenhofen woodturning artisan www.raltenhofen.com