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Tag Archives: vessels

david nittman: woven or wood?

Colorado’s David Nittmann has mastered the art of optical illusions.  What appear to be intricately woven baskets are actually turned wood bowls, platters and bodydrums (a hollow vessel that can be used as a musical instrument or as an art object).

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Nittmann turns, burns and dyes the wood used in his internationally renowned Basket Illusion series.  Photographs don’t give the secret away – my guess is that you have to see these in person to fully believe that they are wood.


A Single Twist of Fate, 16″ diameter, American Holly

Large platters have 40,000 separate burned marks. This hatch work of concentric lines and radial lines creates a circular grid pattern, the “wooden canvas”, and gives the impression of a woven basket.


Bodydrum, 14″ diameter, Honduras Mahogany

If you have a hankering to try this yourself, the artist explains the process in detail here.

carole freve’s distorted reality

I had a visceral reaction to these empty chairs seated inside knitted copper cages. The vessels transported me back to teenage years filled with adolescent angst.  While the smoky translucent glass might remind us that memories can be cloudy and uncertain, for me the empty chairs symbolize feeling invisible and the cages bring back memories of feeling trapped and alone.  Carol Freve’s work stirs emotions…as all good art should. Haunting. Powerful.

This transformation can be seen as a symbol for the passage of time, when memories become indistinct and reality is distorted.  The copper, electroplated onto the glass surface, reinforces this aspect.  Most recently, little copper chairs make an appearance, hinting at memories, happy or sad, which leave their mark on our lives.

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