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Richard Raffan: 2012 Merit Award ArtistClaret ash bowl by Richard Raffan


Richard Raffan has been a professional turner since the early 1970s. Well-known for his impeccable sense of shape and form, and his mastery of the craft of woodturning, he was inspired by the influence of the English Arts & Crafts movement. Although he has worked with what might be considered more ‘artistic’ forms, Raffan is best known for his functional work, and prefers to be referred to as a craftsman.
Perhaps one of the best known woodturners in the world, Richard Raffan has always had a strong sense of the legacy he will leave, and of the anonymous craftsmen who came before him. Around the time he started woodturning in the early 70s, all across the western world trade turners were laying down their tools. Raffan’s entry into turning coincided with this decline of turning as a trade, but it was just in time for him to learn from a turner who still had the old skills. As the last generation of production hand turners gave up the trade Richard was able to step into his role as guardian of a traditional craft and was able to hand on these skills to the rapidly growing numbers of new turners.

Born in Devon, England in 1943, Richard Raffan has lived and worked in Australia since 1982. He is the author of numerous books, articles and DVDs about woodturning.

The American Association of Woodturners Professional Outreach Program Merit Award is given to an artist or artists whose body of work has contributed significantly to the growth of woodturning as an art form.





AAW Gallery of Wood Art | 222 Landmark Center | 75 5th St W | St. Paul, MN 55102 | 651.484.9094