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Scarpino's career began in the seventies, when she produced purely functional pieces. While these early years did not develop artistic innovation, Scarpino mastered the techniques that now create her sculptural and non-functional pieces. In a recent issue of Woodwork magazine Scarpino explained her move from production work to sculptural forms: " I don't want to denigrate production work, but it is so boring sometimes. Still, I did try to develop my own style and one of the early ways was by working on simple things like tops. I had learned a range of techniques, such as bleaching, coloring, texturing, and I decided I could develop a whole range of tops based on those techniques…That focused me on the development of a particular style, of putting something of myself into my work." Scarpino works in Indianapolis, but has taught at the Appalachian Center for the Crafts in Tennessee in order to educate others about her art form.
BETTY J. SCARPINO. American, 1949–
Osage Orange Vessel 1995
osage orange, lathe-turned, bleached
Gift of Jane and Arthur Mason. 1999.69.38