southwest indian pottery design norway maple hollow form

Norway Maple Hollow Form Vessel

I like to keep my designs simple and let the magic of the wood tell the story. Nature seldom needs to be embellished. In this vessel the dark lines are caused by a kind of spalting or fungal invasion and add visual appeal to the piece.

My brother-in-law was telling me about something he read about how one gains mastery in a given area. First you have to learn the rules. This is the beginning stage. Then you must learn more advanced rules. This makes one a professional. Then you disregard the rules. That takes you to the master level.

This very much reminds me of what my teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi taught. He said no institution or system of thought will gain fulfillment until it transcends its own values. I have thought about that many times. Rules are like the box but we are unbounded and when we step outside the box we find answers that could never be found inside the box.

My personal preference is to let the wood determine the form rather than my imposing a fixed form on a particular piece of wood. This way I feel that I am better at getting the most out of a piece of wood.

This is why wood turners like to see the tree and make their cuts directly on the trunk rather than going to a merchant and buying a machined square or rectangular block of wood to turn. Nature speaks to us but she speaks softly and you have to listen carefully.