Open and Closed in Fir (2007)
Douglas Fir with sandblasted interiors,
7 ½ in. height by
10 ¼ in. length by 10 in. width,
5 ¼ in. height by
15 ½ in.
length by 12 ¼ in. width
I am always pushing the limit of what woods can be successfully turned.
These pieces are of Douglas Fir, one of the materials I am focusing on.
Typically this wood is considered to be too difficult to work with for
woodturning, but through much time and effort I find the stunning results can be
well worthwhile. This pair is a recent example of that, and are the first
ones of their kind in the world.
To add to the challenge of working with Douglas Fir, only a small percentage
of the logs I encounter offer me grain that is visually suitable for such time
consuming work. These pieces represent many tons of wood that I have
brought to the studio.
The pair was created specifically for the current exhibit "Open and
Closed" which is a combined exhibit of ceramic and wood turning artists
exploring the notion of vessel open and closeness. Here is my artist's
statement from that show:
As an artist, my passion is the exploration of
the quiet power of understated form. The dance at the lathe - from the powerful
aggression of the roughing stages to the state of near meditation during the
final shaping of the pieces - are every bit as important to my daily journey as
the finished piece. I feel both mentally and spiritually energized and centered
as I quiet my mind and watch my hands and body work, drawing energy from the
There are many aspects of a vessel which influence the emotional impact on a
viewer, but none more than our perception of the inner volume that a vessel
suggests. The more open the vessel, the more it serves as a two dimensional
object in space – primarily visual and perhaps intellectual in impact. A closed
vessel not only commands the space around it more forcefully, but it also has
the additional emotional power of what it contains – with the viewer reacting to
it as if it were a living organism.
The greatest power comes from the balance and contrast of open and closed. My
two pieces in Open and Closed are from the same tree and share strong
similarities in design, including that both pieces have been sandblasted on the
inside surface creating a ribbed texture. Whereas this texture strengthens the
visual impact of the inner surface of the open vessel, the same treatment
actually enhances one's perception of the outer surface of the closed
piece by increasing the tactile contrast between that surface and the more
hidden inner surface. The similarities of the two vessels suggest a “community,”
and thus the enhanced rim and inside surface of the open piece join together
with the stoic profile and volume of the taller closed vessel to make a richer
and more engaging overall statement than either piece on its own.
The price is $2750. for the pair.
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All rights reserved ©Bill Luce, 2007