Oral history interview with Rude Osolnik

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.osolni01
Creators:
Osolnik, Rude, 1915-2001
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Dates:
2001 May 1
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
38 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Rude Osolnik conducted 2001 May 1, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Osolnik's home, Berea, Kentucky.
Scope and Contents
Osolnik explains that he was born in New Mexico but moved to Illinois where he grew up. He speaks about his decision to not become a coal miner like his father; learning wood turning from Jack Rohner; engaging in production turning; majoring in industrial arts at Bradley University, in Peoria, Illinois; teaching at Berea College; working in the Westervelt Shop; using Oliver and Powermatic lathes; making candlesticks, twig pots, and new items for the craft fair market; assembling booths at craft fairs; working with his wife Daphne; their five children; edge bowls; purchasing his property, now a parcel of approximately three hundred acres of land called "Poverty Ridge"; finding and working with wood from their land; appreciating and exploiting spalted pieces; laminating Mahogany; preparing tools and wood for turning; working with Zebrawood, Macasar Ebony, and Pink Ivory; turned pieces proportions; and teaching classes and workshops. Osolnik discusses his caretaker Zenobia Parks; selling his goods at Fireside Industries and America House; founding the American Association of Woodturners; working with the Kentucky Guild; the Southern Highland Craft Guild and developing the Berea Crafts Festival; the failure of the craft fair at Charlotte, N.C.; visiting with the prime minister of Belize, a consultation sponsored by the World Church Service to advise on that country's furniture production and export market; the role of the crafts movement in higher education; the Wallace Nutting collection at Berea; "Osolnik Originals"; a book project (Rude Osolnik: A Life Turning Wood. Louisville, KY: Crescent Hill Books, 1997); and signing his pieces. Osolnik also mentions in passing the DeMano Gallery, California; Great American Gallery, Georgia; Martha Connell; the Mint Museum; "Craft Multiples," an exhibition at the Renwick Gallery; Mark Lindquist; Jack Fifield; American Craft Council; Benchmark Galleries; I Love My Stuff Gallery; Eleanor Roosevelt; Queen Elizabeth; O. J. Mattil; Gary Barker; Walter Hyleck; Bernard Leach; Bob Stockdale; Dale Nish; Ray Key; Berea Craft Enterprises; travel to Scandinavia; and Richard and Lila Bellando.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Rude Osolnik (1915-2001) was a woodturner from Berea, Kentucky. Mary Douglas (1956- ) a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 29 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Turning Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Turning -- Equipment and supplies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Turning -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Turning -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wood-carving Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wood-carvers -- Kentucky -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Decorative arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Association of Woodturners Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Berea College -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bradley University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/