Hayley Smith

Hayley Smith (US)
Hayley Smith (US)

Hayley Smith was born in Wales in 1965. She started to turn wood in 1989, while attending art school, and in 1991, received her BA (Hons.) in Art Education. Smith started exhibiting in 1990, and made the transition to full-time studio turner upon graduating. In 1998, Smith moved to Bisbee, Arizona.

Hayley Smith has exhibited throughout Europe and the United States and undertaken residencies in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Her work can be seen in numerous museum and private collections and has been featured in magazines and books.

Artist’s Statement

“I started to explore surface, ironically while making two-dimensional printed images. Now, I realize that it was the carving of the wood or linoleum’s surface, rather than the making of the prints flat image that captivated me. The turned form provides a focus for my expression. The wood contributes its own character (it being not a blank canvas) with which I form a dialogue, creating contrast and balance by manipulating its surface. A dance of sorts takes place between me and the piece. I find the execution and transformation of surface mesmerizing and the carving has a therapeutic quality.

I select wood that is emphatic to my work. Relatively neutral wood that does not have overwhelming colour or grain that could conflict with my designs. My pieces are subtle. The intricate surfaces are intended to draw in the viewer and create a dialogue. Thus the dance between the piece and the viewer begins.

Other works by Hayley Smith from the Daniel Collection …

“The circle in all its forms within my work, turned or carved, concentric and subdivided, reflects the patterns of our life and world. Circles within circles. The central bowl or hole, symbolizes the vessel and the space within. The design elements represent the areas of my life I strive to balance, to create a harmonious whole. My work allows me to reflect upon my life and my relationship with the world I live in.

My current series, The Dance Series, evolved when I moved into my own purpose-built in 2001. It is a celebratory series that draws influences from many sources. From the colors of the canyon sides I see through my studio window to design elements shaped by my formal art education, my work is a reflection of my life and relationship with the world I live in.

My forms are turned on a lathe from hardwoods, predominantly English Sycamore and Maple. Texture is created both on and off the lathe. Gouges, files and air tools in conjunction with a variety of burrs (many of which are dental) are used to laboriously carve intricate surfaces. Scorched areas are created with a blowtorch. Coloured elements are airbrushed watercolours or ink. Pieces are sealed and finished with micro-crystalline wax.” (Text from an undated Artist Profile from the De Mano Gallery.)

Selected Collections

  • Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
  • Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
  • Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
  • Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Art, Racine, WI
  • Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
  • Grizedale Society, Grizedale, Cumbria, England
  • Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
  • Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, NC
  • Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
  • Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
  • Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI
  • University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
  • Wood Turning Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT