Turning: "Decorated Vessels"
April 21, 2006
Entry Details

# 357
Charles Benson
Spokane, WA
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   13
  Height:   10
  Depth:   4.5
Materials:   The multi-axis hollow form and base are of sycamore.
The antenna are made of maple comp-wood.
The collar is ebony.
The inspiration for this piece came from a Graeme Priddle demonstration. Graeme likes to depict things in his work from his culture and surroundings. The "Crawdad" (crayfish) came from my childhood memories of the wet-lands in SE Texas. This area of Texas has a strong Cajun influence, where the crawfish is a delicacy. The Crawdad and crawdad castle (pushed up mud) was found in every yard.
The main body is a multi-axis hollow-form - it is hollow throughout with the head acting as a lid or top. The body was turned using 3 axis, one center and 2 to one side. It was hollowed through the bottom, and saving the plug so the grain matches. The claw design (next image) was carved, textured, stained and painted. The body surface is hammer-textured and has a tung oil finish. The separate base is of a ring design that depicts the tail or flippers of a crayfish and is turned, carved, textured, and painted.  The ebony collar forms the transition from the body to the head.
The base and body are separate pieces, with the main body sitting in the ring base.
This image shows the base design and the claw detail as well as the overall shape from this angle.
This side shot shows the multi-axis lines of the body and the carved claw design.
This image show the head detail and construction.
The head fashioned from a very small bead like turning and strips of comp-wood formed to shape. The eyes are beads and straight pins dipped in epoxy for the glaze and fixed to the head.
This image shows the separate base (tail / flipper) carving and detail.
These flippers or tail are used by the crayfish to fashion his home underground. The deposits of mud from the excavation make the crayfish castles in the yards.

Judges Comments
Clay : This piece really captures the essence of crawdad without the compulsion to realistically reproduce one. A charming crawdad fetish and fantasy.
Jacques : neat idea! I am not sure this form is the best way to convey the idea, but definitlty somethinjg to build off of.....
John : nicely done. Maybe needs a whole family of critters for company/perspective?

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