Vase turner Jim O’Donnell found inspiration from an unexpected source.
I had the initial spark of inspiration for the design of my ‘Double Vision’ vase while sitting on my grandmother’s sofa in 1971. Without realising it, the vision of a WWI aircraft within the pages of an
old encyclopedia was burned into my memory. I became particularly fascinated by the beauty and balance of the powerful rotary engines, as I imagined the huge propeller flying at top speed. I noticed that the cylinder walls of the rotary engines contained cooling fins that created an outer shape, which was superimposed on an inner silhouette of the cylinder wall. At the time, I didn’t even know why it stuck with me.
Now, fast forward four decades, while sketching ideas for a new vase design, the memory of those windy engines came back to me. I envisioned a stacked elegant vase, able to hold dried flowers. My ‘Double Vision’ vase is constructed of 26 alternating pieces of African bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei and blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon). I chose these woods for their significant density and great acceptance of a Danish oil finish. The outer silhouette has curved outer edges; the inner silhouette is constructed of all straight outer edges. It is up to the observer’s eye to soften the inner shape into a delicate black vase.