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Dragonfly Hollow Form Vase

Hollow Form Style

Dragonfly Hollow Form Vase is a wood turning style. It is where the opening is significantly smaller than the diameter of the vase. The process to make a hollow form takes a lot of practice in order to develop the skills to make this shape. The artist is removing wood from the inside of the piece with little or no visual assistance. Special hook shape tools assist in peeling away layers of wood. This requires constant measuring to maintain a uniform wall thickness. As one develops the skill the sound of the spinning wood is one of the best indicators of progress.

Once the Dragonfly Hollow Form Vase form is complete I use other techniques to make the piece special. Here I use a technique known as Pyrography. This is branding the wood with a red hot wire. The process is similar to the woodburning we did in the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Those tools were so frustrating because they never got hot enough to burn a line. Today, pyrography is an art form for realistic illustration.

The next step is to decorate the form with wood stains and paints. Finally, with a protective finish the piece comes alive. This Dragonfly Vase piece was honored with a First Place Award at a regional woodworkers symposium in Saratoga New York. Here is another hollow form piece in my sea urchin series.

Inventor of Hollow Form Turning

The artist who developed this process is David Ellsworth. David was a ceramic artist and became interested in wood turning. He wanted to make a hollow form wood piece. It is simple to do in clay as the material can be moved. Wood does not offer that luxury. Once he figured out the process he made it available to anyone who was interested. In the early 1970’s this changed the course of wood turning from producing utilitarian items like bowls and plates to an art form.


My studio is in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. This is where I design and produce all of my items.


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