Thomas Bertolacini, Woodworker

Tom holds one of his bowlsThom Bertolacini makes turned-wood bowls and carved utensils in his workshop in Newark. His experience with wood stretches all the way back to high school, where he frustrated his shop teacher with his tendency to use the dimensions that he envisioned in his head instead of carefully planned ones on paper. Yet with his teacher’s guidance, he ultimately finished a cherry-wood cabinet after two years of hard work. Since then, Bertolacini has done various carpentry work for his church and community, but he traces the beginnings of his bowl and utensil making to the tools and wood lathe he inherited from his grandfather, a machinist and machine-broker.

An experienced hunter, gardener, and spelunker, Bertolacini speaks knowledgeably about using natural resources. Most of the wood he works with comes from his own property, with storms naturally felling trees on his land and that of his neighbors. “We can choose to use that resource or just cut it up and burn it,” he explains. “I do both. I work with wood; I heat with wood.”

In addition to bowls of many shapes and sizes, Bertolacini also makes decorative hollow forms, kitchen tools such as spoons and spurtles, and even toys like tiny wooden tops.


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2 Responses to Thomas Bertolacini, Woodworker

  1. Jim Bertolacini says:

    My older brother. He’s a talented artist and an amazing guy.

  2. Tim O'Keefe says:

    Hey, what happened to your photography?! I was just fishing around on the internet and found this. Wondered what was up with my old friends the Bertolacinis. I hope all is well with you and the ones you love.

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