Bill Luce Woodturner



Featured Piece



December  2006

Essence Series #3 (2006)
Douglas Fir with colored rim, 4 ¼ in. height by 8 ¼ in. width by 13 in. length


This piece is from a recent series exploring both minimalism and utilization of material.  At what point, in terms of curve and length of sides relative to overall length, does an object go from being merely a curved object in space to one which suggests an inner volume? Thus a minimal container?

Almost immeasurable differences can make powerful changes on the object's overall statement. For example, when I compare this piece with another piece nearly identical but only a 1/4 inch longer, and thus a shallower curve, side by side the latter says "curved object" whereas the above piece has crossed the line over to "vessel" defining an inner volume.  Exploring that transformation point is for me the excitement of the series.

With most vessels the initial and perhaps most import statement begins with the rim.  For this piece an enhanced rim framing the vessel strengthens the form.  I eventually settled on a reddish lacquer finish enhancing the edge without covering it up.  This treatment is more in harmony with the color of the wood unlike for example an opaque black which I found very distracting to the eye.  After a single viewing, most people I've asked could not remember what color the rim was - which told me it was successful rim treatment.  

This vessel was turned with a natural edge adding further challenges beyond just the difficulty of the material itself.  The overall proportion of the piece had to be decided prior to turning as the "natural edge" is already formed by the tree and cannot be manipulated further.  To achieve an absolutely crisp edge the color treatment on the rim must be applied prior to final shaping, thus any issues while forming the rim are magnified.

This piece is featured on the back cover of the current American Woodturner (Winter 2006) which can be seen here.



All rights reserved ęBill Luce, 2006

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