This Spirit Form Vessel is Madrone wood. The style is Hollow Form where the opening is smaller than the diameter. It takes practice and a new set of skills to remove the inside wood which is not visible to the turner. This piece is approximately 3 inch diameter by 1 inch tall. It is very comforting to hold and some believe spirits find a home in these forms.
Spirit Form Vessels go way back in time and are common in many cultures. Native Americans and people of ancient cultures believe that their ancestors return to visit their loved ones. They need a safe place in the present world. The small opening allows for their entry while keeping danger out. I love this idea and will gift a Spirit Form to a friend who is suffering a loss.
Typically a bowl features a large opening tapering to a small base. Hollow Forms have a very small hole at the top. It takes patience to develop a skill set to make a piece like this. A maker dos not see the wood he is removing from the inside. He uses calipers and listens to sound patterns as indicators if things are going well. Hollow Form turning was developed by David Ellsworth in the 1970’s. For centuries the focus of wood turning was making utilitarian items. This style became the paradigm for the art movement in wood turning. Here is another example of another Spirit Form Vessel, Spirit Form Trio
I produce my art in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. All items are unique and handmade. My primary machine is a wood lathe. This tool allows me to make the form which usually requires secondary operations to bring it to life. In the case of this pieces sanding, buffing, polishing and a protective finish complete the process.