"The Moulthrop family is an Atlanta treasure who literally have turned wood into art for three generations." (Michael Shapiro, Director of High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia).
Matt Moulthrop worked with his father, Philip and his grandfather, Ed, in their studio since he was a young child learning about wood and how to use the tools. There he became immersed in the demands of turning. Today, Matt has a greater knowledge of wood than his grandfather did, thanks to an ever-expanding array of trees to choose from and greater access to research on timbers and their properties.
Having acquired an impressive knowledge of material, form and process, Matt continues the legacy of the Moulthrop family. "Each tree has a story to tell" he says. "Wormholes convey past life, rings communicate growth and certain colors tell the story of death from lightning or blight. My job is to tell the story in picture-book fashion, showing rather than talking, extending the life of the tree, rather than ending it."
Matt attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree. It was during this period that Matt learned the process of finishing from his grandfather, Ed. Ed would show him how to mix, apply, and polish the fiinish. He also shared turning techniques and recent breakthroughs in the finish work. When Ed was going blind he would feel Matt's latest work with his hands and then tell him where it was right and where it could be better.
The Moulthrop brand is easy to detect. You can never mistake their work for that of another family or group of turners. While they stand by the principles of the design and craftsmanship that they pioneered, they have not hesitated to be innovators and to embrace new ideas. The Moulthrop family pieces are on display in the White House Collection at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institutions's National Museum of American Art.