Ralph Buschbacher

“Some of my favorite pieces have been inspired by other artists, such as Monet and Escher. Interpreting their work on a 3-D wood medium with different techniques is a lot of fun.”

Ralph Buschbacher

ADC Fine Art, Cincinnati, OH

Inspired by his mother, a gifted painter, Ralph Buschbacher grew up surrounded by beautiful art and immersed in an artist’s perspective. His turned-wood bowls, vases, platters and other functional or decorative pieces feature intricate, richly colored surface designs that captivate and fascinate. 

“I often include a whimsical element that draws in the viewer,” he says. “An example of this is a platter with Escher-inspired fish. All the fish are frowning, except for one. The viewer is invited to find the smiling fish.”

The Carmel artist has long been a woodworker, crafting fine furniture throughout his life until his son convinced him to buy a lathe. Once the father-son duo began turning wood, Ralph became enamored with the art. 

Ralph uses a diverse range of woods, but prefers locally sourced materials, including maple, cherry, walnut and oak. He feels this connection to local resources adds a distinctive touch to his creations and reflects a commitment to sustainability, as well as harmony with the environment. 

His pieces are remarkably smooth and flawless, but it is often his innovative surface designs that attract collectors. He interprets traditional techniques and materials wood burning, inks and stains, paints, texturing with chisels and grinders, resin inlay and gold leaf in unique ways, orchestrating an unusual symphony. He pushes the boundaries of convention, constantly seeking new ideas in woodturning.

“The qualities I am striving for are outstanding fit and finish, an appropriate interplay between the sometimes contrasting techniques, and proper balance of color and texture,” he explains. 

While he was a practicing physician, Ralph delved into the fundamentals of woodturning at the world-renowned Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Franklin, Indiana. He considers his teaching position there today one of the pinnacles of his art career. 

The exceptional artistry and craftsmanship that has been designated Indiana Artisan impressed Ralph, as well. “I am both proud and humbled to have been accepted into such an esteemed group,” he adds.

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