Spike Sea Urchin is a sculptural attempt to copy Mother Nature. We all love scavenging the shoreline for beach keepsakes. Spike features techniques involving turning and carving with a bleach finish. The size is about four inches in diameter. This is the treasure we hope to find on a beach. Sometimes we get lucky with a starfish, sand dollar or in this case a sea urchin.
Here I am explore making a sea urchin using Madrone wood. After making a hollow form on a lathe I spend a few days at the studio bench carving details with a dental drill. The final piece looks like it is from the beach. Madrone wood is from the on West Coast. It is very difficult to get it on the East Coast. As this wood dries it distorts and takes on a new shape. When the hollow form comes off the lathe it is a perfect ball. A few days later the shape is different making it the perfect material for these organic creatures.
When the piece is complete it is impossible to identify the urchin as a wood product. My objective with this series is to change the appearance of wood so that it no longer can be distinguished as wood. If you like Spike Sea Urchin you may want to take a look at Sea Urchin Holiday Ornaments These are real sea urchins with wood components for decorating a Christmas Tree.
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This sculpture as are all of my items are made in my studio Montvale, New Jersey, USA. I divide my time between the lathe making the form and the studio bench applying decorations. Many times developing an item takes more time at the workbench refining the idea than the time spent at the lathe.