Psyche Urn

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There are many ways to use a blank, but there are only a few ways to obtain a good result from it, and often we are not on that way. But this piece came to me on a lucky day. Looking for some olive wood boards in a sawmill I came across a beautiful and “abandoned” italian elm board, just four feet long, that the owner gave it away to me. Back home I started to sketch my first ideas about what to do with it; my mind in those days was filled by stories from The Golden Ass (Metamorphoses) by Apuleius I was reading, so watching at the grain pattern on a side of the elm board I recognized something like waves moving in a sort of whirpool, yes it reminded me to the river Styx . So I decided to make an hollow form, more exactly an open vessel, the one Psyche received from Venus to capture the water of the river Styx.
I started cutting a round blank with the bandsaw out of a previous and selected area of the board, the thickness was not too much so I had to have in mind a shallow shape for the upper part of the vessel. Turning the outside I left enough material that would have allow me carving it later. Once finished shaping the rough outside I moved to the inside starting hollowing. Soon the situation showed me some difficulties, it was hard to reach the area behind the cue. So I decided to shape the stem of a tool, bending it in a swan-neck type. It worked perfectly.
After hollowing out the inside of the vessel I found the piece produced a very deep sound every time I knoked it, it could have been a sort of musical instrument. But no, not in this case, so I started hand carving the rough material left on the outside and dividing the piece in two parts lowering all the straight grain. At last I worked the soft wood fibers of the whirly side with a small gouge to accent its natural pattern. Once the work was completed I gently removed the tenon on the back I used to hold the piece. Then I left the piece resting apart for a couple of weeks before hand sanding and finishing with two coats of water-base varnish.
In fact for the name of this piece I chose to use the noum urn instead of vessel, just because of the shape.

Size (mm) : 280x60