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Trudy’s Butterfly Vase


Trudy’s Butterfly Vase is a lesson in what happens to problem pieces after investing hours of time.  They go to the someday I will figure out what to do with this box until inspiration comes. My sister-in-law finds this piece in that box. To me it is a disaster.  It is a beautiful piece of wood with a serious crack.  I usually like organic pieces, but this is not ready for prime time. 

I will give it to her when I figure out a solution that makes the piece attractive to me.  Several weeks later the solution is to add several contrasting butterflies.  They strengthen the wood and add interest.  What is the lesson?  Hold on to stuff until a there is a solution or that one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

Hollow Form

The shape of this vase is known as a hollow form.  The goal is to have an very small opening and to remove the interior wood..  This takes practice and developing a skill set. The turner removes the interior wood unable to see the cutting action.  He relies on constant measuring with calipers and the sound of the spinning wood.

Butterfly Joints

The butterflies are cut out from a contrasting wood.  Then I copy the shapes onto the bowl.  Next I carve a recess to fit the butterflies and glue in place to add strength.  It is time consuming, but does yield interesting results. 

If you like Trudy’s Butterfly Vase here is another piece featuring butterflies.  Go Fly A Kite Bowl

Gift Ideas

if you are looking for a special gift take a look in my Etsy Shop


I design all my items in my studio in Montvale, New Jersey, USA.  My primary machine is the wood lathe.  With this tool I create the shape.  Once I am happy with the form I take the piece to the workbench for secondary processes that will refine the item. 


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