Segmented Turnings
September 24, 2006
Entry Details

# 393
Robert Ceraso
Centereach, NY
Dimensions (inches):  
  Width:   14
  Height:   5
  Depth:   4.75
Materials:   Yellow Heart, Bloodwood, Phillipine Mahogany, Black-dyed veneer
146 pieces

My goal with this piece (as well as several other pieces still swimming around my head) was to do something different from the traditionally southwestern / Native American flavor that so many segmented pieces have.  

I moved the “feature ring” to the top of the vessel instead of the usual two-thirds up or down the side of the profile and in so doing, for me anyway, I created a new challenge.  The steep angle at which the rings are turned makes for some very interesting design possibilities and I really had to think about how to cut and arrange the thin layers to achieve the effect I wanted.  Also, when working with thin layers and steep angles, the error tolerance is very small as turning away fractions of an inch of thickness results in much larger changes visually.  This design isn’t overly complicated but I don’t think it’s overly simplistic either.  AND - it actually turned out exactly how I planned it – which almost NEVER happens for me.  

The feature ring consists of several laminations.  To add some interest to the pattern, rather than cutting all segments at the same angle, one of the laminations was cut into two sets of segments, each at opposing angles, then arranged to achieve the effect I wanted.

The shape I wanted to be somewhere right in the middle of form vs. function - although the opening is a little bit small for any real practical use, so an art piece it is.

Another (ongoing) goal was (is) to improve the quality of my glue joints.  On the advice from Malcolm’s book (and Ray’s), this is my first piece using a disk sander to clean up each joint prior to gluing and I have to say, I am now a believer (my 9 inch Craftsman is gone and a new 20 inch is on its way).  How true it is that “good enough” is never good enough.

Finish was applied entirely on the lathe and consists of several coats of  Minwax Tung Oil Finish over a thin coat of sanding sealer, followed by two applications of Renaissance Wax.

Judges Comments
Malcolm : Yellowheart-to-yellowheart joints can be very difficult. The maker obviously took a lot of care during the construction. The feature ring and the overall shape are quite unique. The goal of doing “something different from the traditional southwestern” has definitely been achieved. I wonder a little about the stability of such a large plug in the base (if indeed it is a plug).
Mark : Some interesting concepts here. The shape does not work for me. Has a heavy look to it for me.

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