Elegant Forms
April 3, 2009
Entry Details
 

# 841
John Shrader
Kirkland, WA
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   5
  Height:   17
  Depth:   5
Materials:   Holly and Bloodwood

This vase was inspired by a group of one celled animals called radiolaria.  A radiolarian’s defining characteristic is it builds a home for itself out of silica.  Many of these homes are highly elaborate, and to my eyes exquisitely beautiful, as they have a pattern of tiny holes similar to the hole pattern in this vase.  A typical radiolarian home is smaller than of the period at the end of this sentence!  

The white portion is holly, and the red portion is bloodwood.  The holly portion was build up from concentric rings, as I could find a source of high grade holly only in board form. The finish is satin lacquer.  The finial like top is a screw-in lid.

 

This is the screw-in lid for the radiolarian vase.  The holly part was made in two sections, essentially two small bowls.  The rims on these bowls were then matched to within .002 inch for both interior diameter (ID) and outer diameter (OD), and the slope of the ID and OD was matched to approximately 0.5 degee.  The threads were hand chased in both the lid and the matching ring in the body of the vase.  To minimize binding due to humidity changes, both the ring in the body of the vase and the mating part in the lid were segmented.  
 

This photo shows the base of the vase in more detail.  Because it is quite narrow in one area, it was strengthened with a concealed steel rod.  
 

Judges Comments
CD : Nice use of contrasting wood, working together with contrasting textures. Good crisp details, too. The piercing on the entire piece seems to be a bit too much. Perhaps an improvement would be to pierce the finial and only part of the vessel.
DE : This is one of the few pieces in the exhibition where the complexity of its elements actually complement the entire form. Congratulations.
TB : Congratulations on entering this competition. Just the process of creating a piece for a themed exhibition helps you push your creativity and your work to the next level. The color contrast in the base and finial work well. I might experiment with leaving the vessel solid and just piercing the finial.

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