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

# 362
Larry Lew
Ceres, CA
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   7
  Height:   11.5
  Depth:   7
Materials:   The piece was created using maple and black walnut for the vase, black walnut and reed spline (used in caning) for the leaves, grape clusters, branches and tendrils. The piece was finished with lacquer.

The piece called “Reaching Out” is inspired by how growing grapevines reach out and find the support necessary for them to thrive.  The support comes not only from the vine’s use of other structures and plants but also from within as different parts of the plant provide support through the intertwining of tendrils. The applique design covers the entire vase and as it is viewed from different locations the design changes.  This view emphasizes the relationship of the leaves and branches to the emerging grape clusters.

This view emphasizes how the tendrils intertwine to help obtain support from different portions of the vine as well as how other tendrils reach out to obtain support from the structure it is clinging to.
The tendrils are shaped from the reed spline using a small plane and carving knife.  The shaped piece is soaked in water and either taped to the vase and left to dry or shaped on a leaf blank or form and placed in the microwave to dry it.  Once dry the final shaping and dying is completed the tendril is attached to the vase as part of the applique design previously sketched on to the vase.  Once the tendrils, branches, leaves and grape clusters are attached to the segmented vase the applique design and vase are finished with lacquer at the same time.

This view shows another portion of the design and how the leaves conform to the compound curves at various positions on the vase.  The black walnut leaves are carved from blanks of solid wood.  Some of the blanks, generally located in the lower portion of the vase, are made using a band saw to cut a blank that will match the general curvature of the vase at the location the leaf is to be placed.  The back of the blank is then shaped by hand to conform to the longitudinal curve of the vase.  The blanks for the areas of the vase with the most compound curvature are made from a six segment turning. This turning when finished is about one quarter inch thick the inside of which matches the outside of the vase.

This photo shows leaf blanks taken from the turning described above.  Each leaf must be oriented on the blank in the same position it is in the design on the vase as it only fits in one direction because of the compound curvature.

This photo shows a closer detail of another portion of the applique design.  Each leaf is cut from the carving blank with a scroll saw and then hand carved using various burs and stones on rotary carvers.

Judges Comments
Clay : A remarkable advance in surface decoration for turned objects. A quite and gentle message of support and interdependency.
Jacques : What a stellar undertaking... a labor of love. The form becomes a hinderence to the graet texture and motif though.... More volume in the lower 1/3 and smaller foot helps.......amazing leaf and vine detail.
John : The carving is very nice and well done. The maple and walnut leaves me with images of high school industrial arts turning, and the shape sort of fits that, too. A little too angular and large in the base. I hope you will pursue this method of decoration.

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