Franz Josef Keilhofer

I'm self-employed as a professional woodturner and wood-designer.


What craft do you work with?

I’m self-employed as a professional woodturner and wood-designer. I got into this craft years ago by accident, when I was on a break from university due to mental health reasons. I’m specialized in wooden bowls in all forms and sizes. I try to combine traditional methods and techniques with modern, yet timeless design. At the moment I’m working on green wood bowls that feature an unsanded surface combined with primitive carvings inspired by heritage crafts.

What inspires you to work with this craft?

I’m working with locally sourced wood. Either from my own forest or from my neighbourhood. Most of my material comes from less than 5km away. At the moment, most of my inspiration comes from japanese ceramists and traditional green wood workers like pole lathe turners or spoon carvers. Living on a century old farm in the bavarian mountains I’m out in the wild a lot where I get inspiration from textures, shapes and colours that I find in the nature.

How do you start your creative process?

My creative process always starts from whole logs. I bring them home into my barn and then start to filleting the tree and decide what every section can become best. This is also the most difficult step of the process, since wrong placement of the objects inside the tree can not be fixed later in the process.

Your workspace?

My workspace is a relatively clean and modern workshop. Some people even thing it’s a bit sterile, but that is exactly what I need to stay focused. The main tools I use is a chainsaw, bandsaw, woodturning lathe and a variety of hand-tools and specialised woodturning tools.

Are there new techniques you would like to try?

Turning wood on a pole lathe or traditional japanese lathe as well as throwing on a potter’s wheel.

Sharing your craft and experience.

There are several advices that I have, but the most important ones are: take your time to learn the basics of your craft properly (which will consume about 10 000 hours and while it’s for sure ok to get inspired by others, don’t copy. There is nothing more satisfying then finding your own voice in terms of techniques and design. I would love to collaborate with a japanese potter one day. Since I just finished an international crafts exhibition in Tokyo, for the moment my professional dreams seem to all become reality.

Media & Contact


Ginger Wood Franz Keilhofer







Berchtesgaden, Germany

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