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Jack Morrison-Stamnos - Segmented Wood Sculpture-ZM-JMOR-0129 Jack Morrison-Stamnos - Segmented Wood Sculpture-ZM-JMOR-0129

Stamnos - Segmented Wood Sculpture

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Jack Morrison-Stamnos - Segmented Wood Sculpture-ZM-JMOR-0129 Jack Morrison-Stamnos - Segmented Wood Sculpture-ZM-JMOR-0129
At an impressive 35 cm in height, and 36 cm diameter, this segmented wooden vase by Jack Morrison exudes a dramatic, sophisticated presence. A modern interpretation of classic Greek amphoric form, delighting in the play of negative and positive space, soothing and pleasing to the eye. It's loveliness is only half the story however. Consider the meticulous planning and technical mastery required to visualize, cut and assemble the perfectly tapered petals of cherry wood stacked with Peruvian walnut - over 500 segments in all - and the care and precision needed to turn and polish such a delicate and large construction. Truly a work of art to intrigue the mind as well as the senses.

Wooden Vessel Details

Vessel's Name: Open Segmented Vessel #129
Vessel Style: Southwestern with Pueblo Indian Influence
Number of Segments: 517 Segments
Type of Wood: Cherry
Peruvian Walnut
Vessel Dimensions: 36cm tall
36cm in diameter
Markings: Signed and Dated by the Artist
Date Completed: April 26th 2011
Artist's Edition: One of a Kind

Artist Details

Artist's Name: Jack Morrison
Artist's Location: Solvang, California, USA
Artist's Technique: Open Segmented and Turned

Jack Morrison

When eighty-two year old Jack Morrison stands in front of his latest creation, Vessel #128, consisting of some 492 segmented pieces of wood, telling you that he is not an artist, and that is why it takes him so long to create his designs, one has to assume there must be a misunderstanding.  Then again, maybe he is correct, for Vessel #128 is more than a piece of art.  It is an astounding sculpture which took great imagination, precise engineering and the gift to work magic with both positive and negative space.

Jack’s genuinely unpretentious approach to his craft makes his work even more remarkable.  There is a sense that he did not set out to create an eye catching object, but instead gave himself a new challenge.  Perhaps it is the fact that he has had no formal training that gives him the freedom to keep setting the bar higher with each piece he creates.

He begins his process with a piece of graph paper and a compass.  He says that he spends more time with paper, pencil and eraser than he does with the wood.  Once he is comfortable with his pattern he begins the arduous task of cutting out the many segments and then gluing them together.  By the time he is ready to put the assembly on the lathe he has reached "the easy part”.  Apparently "easy” is a relative term.  Each sculpture takes him between two and three hundred hours to complete.

His craft is one that started slowly and took him years to develop.  In 1978 Jack retired from Los Angeles County Law Enforcement and moved to the Santa Ynez Valley.  Anxious to start a new life on the property he had purchased eight years prior, he moved that same day.   Although he had worked with wood for most of his life, his experience was limited to remodeling projects and the boat he and a friend built from a Sears Roebuck kit as a teenager.  

Shortly after he relocated, Jack joined the Central Coast Woodturners Club and made his first turned bowl.  Unfortunately, he did not realize that using an old piece of treated fence post was not the best medium.  He experimented with turning different types of wood and various methods, but he found the process did not appeal to him and was limiting.  He was looking to create something different and was not able to achieve this with a single piece of wood.  Having seen pictures and examples of segmented bowls he went back to his books and began to study and experiment with a new process.

Segmented bowls gave him the outlet to merge his love for wood with his great interest in the "The Four Corners” of the Southwest United States and the rich culture of the Pueblo tribes.  He was inspired by the painted pottery of the indigenous people, and was able to incorporate their unique geometric patterns into his wooden segments.  Ironically, Jack has never visited this area of the world.  Just as he approached learning his craft, his inspiration comes from years of study and a library of books he has collected.

Every vessel that Jack creates is a labor of love and a personal achievement.  Trying to choose a favorite is a difficult task, for each piece is unique.  Which is his favorite?  "My favorite piece is always the last one I have finished.”
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