Freeform – Treeform

Working with green wood has been a new adventure for Dennis.  He turns these natural edge vessels down to less than 1/16th thickness in the first session on the lathe, and then refines them in the final session.  The thin walls ovalize as they dry, but the bark stays on most of the time.  Dennis started out with Richard Raffan’s advice to avoid turning feet on the vessels:

Deep Ash Vessel

Deep Ash Vessel 8" x 8" dia

Natural edge vessels are fascinating because they are often turned sidegrain.  This means that the vessel’s vertical dimension is perpendicular to the trunk.    (Picture the curve of the rim as a circle wrapped around the trunk of the tree.)  As the wood dries, it moves into a more ovalized shape along the vertical dimension of the fibers.

The appeal of the form is evident in the way that the lighter sapwood emphasizes the shape, drawing attention to the graceful curves of the grain.    This one is restrained –almost in-curving at the rim.  It sits quite securely on the base, which allows just enough shadow underneath to lift it slightly off the table.

Dennis turned the deep ash vessel from a freshly cut ash log in January 2009.

Small ash vessel

Small ash vessel 4" x 4" dia

This much smaller vessel, pictured at closer range, has a very rounded base, which made the vase ‘weeble’ back to the upright position when it was tipped to the side.   The good sense of balance of this piece is evident when you hold it in your hand.

Dennis began  turning feet on his vessels in ash and cherry in December and January of 2009.  He went through a whole cherry tree exploring the challenge of fitting the correct foot to the vase.  This one captures something of the gesture of outstretched arms.  Cover the foot, and you lose that sense of lift.

Adding a small foot to the form

Adding a small foot to the form

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *