Melvin Lindquist Woodturning Pioneer

July 5, 1911 - November 24, 2000

Melvin Lindquist (left), Rude Osolnik, James Prestini, Bob Stocksdale
(Second AAW Conference, Philadelphia, 1988)

Melvin Lindquist, Rude Osolnik, James Prestini, Bob Stocksdale in Philadelphia on a Panel


President Clinton holds Hopi Bowl, by Melvin Lindquist (right) during the reception for the artists of the White House Collection of American Crafts, December 1993. Mel Lindquist and his son Mark, were among approximately 40 artists honored at the White House by the President and First Lady, Hillary Clinton.


Born July 5, 1911, Kingsburg, CA

BS:     Oakland Polytechnic College of Engineering, 1935
Fellow: American Society of Quality Control

Selected Awards
"New England Living Art Treasure," University of Massachusetts at Amherst,1983

The First "National Woodturning Conference Award" for outstanding achievements in Studio Woodturning, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, 1985

Lifetime Member, American Association of Woodturners, 1993

Melvin Lindquist began turning in the 1930's as a vertical turret lathe operator for the General Electric Company. In his shop at home, he began an exploration of the vase form through woodturning which has continued for over fifty years. He began turning Spalted wood in the late 1950's when he discovered the wood on his land in the New York Adirondacks. Using the skills and knowledge gained through his engineering and machinist's background, Lindquist developed new tools (such as his carbide tipped turning tools) and techniques (such as blind boring and reverse turning) for working with difficult woods and for turning various forms. His continuing studies of ancient Oriental, Greek and Indian ceramic vases have been essential to his pursuit of the ideals of the vase form. He began exhibiting his work through craft fairs and museum shops in the early 1960's and is recognized as one of the founding fathers of the current studio woodturning movement.  Melvin's work is included in major national and international private collections, museums and corporations.

Selected Museum and Corporate Collections

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Charlotte, North Carolina
Mobile Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama
Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Schenectady Museum, Schenectady, New York
The White House Collection of American Crafts, Washington, DC
U. S. News and World Report Corporate Headquarters, Washington, DC
Bowater Corporation, Knightsbridge, London, England
Ethan Allen Corporate Headquarters, Danbury, Connecticut
Quincy State Bank, Quincy, Florida


Rare Surviving Early Newspaper Clipping of Mel (left) and his wife Helen (center)


Melvin and his son Mark in "The Burl Yard" in Henniker, NH, circa 1979
Photo: Kathy Lindquist

Photo below:  Mel Lindquist turning in his streamside studio in New Hampshire, circa 1983
© David Ellsworth, taken by David circa 1983, edited by Mark Lindquist, 2006
Shot from outside the studio, shows Melvin turning with stream and trees reflected in window.

Mel's Streamside studio is the lowest room on right - below the gallery.
The long horizontal window looked out on the stream (on right out of view)
Mark finished the house and studio (by 1985) that he and Mel started,
beginning in 1969 in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Mark and Kathy built the solar house (right) for Melvin and Helen, beginning in 1979.
Melvin had his turning studio (lower left) beneath the gallery (2nd Floor).

The Lindquist's moved their home and studio to Quincy, FL
(beginning in 1983) where it is still in operation by Mark and Kathy Lindquist today.

© Mark and Kathy Lindquist, 1985 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Mel Lindquist at his lathe, Quincy, FL, (early 2000)   Photo: Gary Stevens

Melvin Lindquist's Lathe and tools as he left them on his last day in the studio,
(early November, 2000), Quincy, FL.
Photo: Mark Lindquist

The last piece turned by Melvin, (unfinished), early November, 2000 
Photo: Mark Lindquist

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
-Paul McCartney

Honorary Lifetime Member
American Association of
Woodturners ~ 1994

Melvin Lindquist (1911–2000) was a master machinist, aeronautical engineer,
army surveyor, manager of quality control, and one of the founders of the studio woodturning movement.  He began woodturning in high school in California in 1928. While working for the General Electric Company in San Jose and then Schenectady, NY, he turned wood as a hobby. Mel began turning spalted wood in the late 1950s after discovering the wood on his land in the New York Adirondacks. He invented new tools and groundbreaking techniques for hollowing vessels and for working with spalted wood. Blind boring, Mel’s pioneering technique, is foundational to woodturning today. Mel retired early from GE in 1968 to pursue woodturning full-time, and began showing his work at craft fairs, galleries and museums. In the 1970s and 1980s, Mel shared his techniques and vision through workshops and symposiums. In 1981, he and son Mark established the woodturning program at Tennessee’s Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts. Mel was a fellow of the American Society for Quality Control and was named a New England Living Art Treasure by the University of Massachusetts in 1983.

(Courtesy American Association of Woodturners)



Melvin Lindquist Statement | Melvin at Arrowmont School | Melvin at Mint Museum
| East Meets West AAW | Melvin in Worth Magazine |

Melvin Lindquist Available Works



 LINDQUIST STUDIOS   311 Glory Rd. Quincy, FL 32352    850.875.9809