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

# 364
John Roth
Huntsville, AL
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   10
  Height:   4.5
  Depth:   10
Materials:   Black walnut and basswood.

This piece is a turned walnut bowl with a chip carved top of basswood. The walnut bowl is a glued assembly of 8 segments cut lengthwise with 45 deg. bevel s and fitted to form an octagonal shape for each layer.  There are 4 layers, stacked in an alternating arrangement of varying size.  The walnut assembly was then turned to the final shape.

The top portion is basswood, the preferred wood for chip carving because of its uniform color and grain.  There are 8 segments cut with a double bevel to form a cone chape.  This procedure ensures that face grain is presented for the carving and each segment will carve similarly. The basswood assembly was then turned with a mating rabbet joint on the OD to fit the corresponding joint on the walnut bowl.  After these pieces are glued, a smaller segmented ring of walnut was made to form the top rim.  Finally, the whole assembly was turned to fine tune the shape and sanded.

The chip carving pattern, seen here close up, is my own design, which is first drawn on paper (see the final photo), then drawn with pencil on the basswood.  All carving is done manually with a single knife.  Final finishing is applied after the carving is completed, consisting of several coats of clear varnish.  
Chip carving has been done for hundreds of years, typically on furniture and display pieces, and it has become my specialty in the carving world of shows and competitions.  So, my objective in creating this piece was to showcase my chip carving and incorporate it in a turning in a unique fashion.  Therefore, the turned walnut base supports the chip carved top, at the same time providing a pleasing shape and adding functionality.  Total time for this project, including concept, pattern design, turning, carving, and finishing was approximately 60 hours.  Time well spent, I believe.

Judges Comments
Clay : A very successful marriage of two traditional crafts. Virtuoso performance of the chip carving.
Jacques : excellent traditional carving... beautiful. Not sure the form compliments the surface though...... very nice use of the segments in combination with the texture, subtle and uniform... very appropriate
John : Very nice carving. I think it would be better as a band around the top of a more rounded piece. The photos don't show it very well, but the lower form seems to waver a bit-it's vague and would be more pleasing if it was less angular.

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