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A View from Left Field with Mark Sfirri

June 11, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


A View from Left Field with Mark Sfirri | Thurs, June 11, 2020 | Live on ZOOM at 6:30 pm EDT


Summer just isn’t summer without baseball! Even though we can’t go to a game the Center is bringing an evening in the stands to you with artist Mark Sfirri. Sfirri will share his love of the game and how it’s influenced his work. Following the talk stay for a baseball-themed happy hour where we’ll share some of our favorite highlights. Get your game gear and your hot dogs and peanuts ready for this don’t miss virtual event!

Mark Sfirri received his BFA and MFA in furniture design at Rhode Island School of Design. He works mostly in wood and incorporates lathe-turned forms, often turned on multiple axes, in his work. He has lectured and demonstrated his techniques throughout North America and Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand. His work is included in the permanent collections of twenty-eight public institutions.

Sfirri is professor emeritus at Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania where he ran the Fine Woodworking Program from 1981 to 2017. He has received two national awards: the “Distinguished Educator Award” in 2010 from the Renwick Alliance of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institutions and, in 2012, the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Collectors of Wood Art.

Inch Worm Bat

In 1993 his son Sam, who was six at the time, ran into Sfirri’s shop and asked him to make him a Little League bat that had a hollow in the end of it. Sfirri was very busy with a furniture commission and tried to get out of it. Sam’s request turned into demand when he said “Dad….. you have the wood and you have a lathe……make me a bat!”   When he put it that way, priorities seemed so clear and Mark, of course, obliged. It didn’t take that long and Sam went away happy. Mark thought that it might be interesting to isolate multi-axis turning details that he was experimenting with at that time and incorporate them on this common object which would serve as a blank canvas. He named this series “Rejects From the Bat Factory”.   Its intention was to capture some obvious humor, but it was also a statement about our culture and how we sometimes prize the mistakes more than the “good ones”. Other times the opposite is true. Over the years, he’s revisited this series with changes in species used and some of the designs. Although he’s done a wide variety of work over his career, this seems to be his most signature work.

This event is free to the public. The Center for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it. A suggested donation of $5 per person enables us to provide programs and exhibitions throughout the year.



June 11, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The Center for Art in Wood
(215) 923-8000
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The Center for Art in Wood
141 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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(215) 923-8000
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