Acosta was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and has been coming
to Fredericksburg his entire life, as his family has a ranch near
Willow City. Kirk's grown up job is a synthetic organic
chemist at a not for profit research organization. His foray
into wood turning began about 5 years ago with the death of his father. Growing up,
Kirk Acosta was surrounded by wood working and the associated wood
working tools. In his retirement years, his father became a prolific wood turner. While he never
actually taught Kirk to turn, he got a feel for it by observing. Upon his
death in 2000, his father had a finished piece on the lathe which
Kirk parted off
and finished the bottom. Shortly thereafter, he began to turn
his own pieces and has become addicted.
works mainly with native Texas woods; mesquite being his favorite.
In addition to mesquite, he's worked with pecan, mountain laurel,
plum, honey locust, cedar elm, Arizona ash, bois dí arc, peach and
an occasional piece of FOG (Found On Ground) wood. Most of the
wood Kirk Acosta turns is salvaged from wood piles or from tree
The various forms that Kirk turns are dictated by the size of the wood, grain structure
and the presence of defects (i.e. cracks, knots, bark inclusions etc.). These can provide for some very dramatic effects in the finished piece, either alone or through augmentation with a variety of fillers.
Kirk finds it particularly challenging to turn pieces of wood
that most turners throw in the burn pile.
None of Kirk's turned pieces are identical, as no two pieces of wood are the same. The art of turning is being able to see the bowl or vessel that lies in that spinning chunk of wood.