Late one afternoon, while visiting the studio of Master Turner David Ellsworth a small piece caught my attention and is the inspiration for this Spirit Form Trio. For me these small forms are more powerful than the larger and elaborate pieces on display throughout the studio. They are very comforting to hold in the palm of your hand.
Many turnings seem to be for display or containment. These Spirit Forms are for touching and holding. David believes the Spirits will find a home in these small forms. Having had the experience to make these I think that he is right. The size of this Spirit Form Trio range from 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.
Spirit forms are common in many cultures. Native Americans and peoples of ancient cultures belief their ancestors return to visit the living. They require a safe place in the present world. The small opening offers protection by keeping danger out. I love this idea and often gift a Spirit Form to a friend suffering a loss.
The style of these vessels are Hollow Form wood turnings. Unlike a bowl which has a large opening, Hollow Forms feature a very small hole at the top. Special skills and practice are necessary to achieve this. The turner cannot see the wood he is removing from the interior walls. Using calipers to measure progress and listening to sound patterns are the indicators if things are going well. This style of turning was developed by David Ellsworth in the 1970’s. Prior to this time and for centuries wood turning would focus on making utilitarian items. This became the paradigm for an art movement in wood turning. Here is more information about David Ellsworth https://ellsworthstudios.com/
Here is another example of a Spirit Form Group of Spirit Bowls
I produce my art in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. All items are unique and handmade.