Architectonica Maxima archive

Monday 16 December 2013

Recently on display at the AWGB Seminar, Jerome Blanc tells us more about this intricate geometric piece which was inspired by the shell of a sea snail


For this piece, I was inspired by the shell of the sea snail Architectonica maxima, commonly called the 'Giant Sundial', which lives in the western Pacific ocean.

I was particularly fascinated by the geometric element of the shell, which is low-spired and quite flattened, with a beaded surface. I was inspired by how I could create this natural element on the lathe. The shoulder slope is divided into two ribs by a spiral groove. This shell is also given as a model for students of architecture, hence its name Architectonica maxima.

On the technical side, the piece is turned from a block of ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and hollowing is achieved by opening up the upper hole. There is no gluing involved here.

I turn the beading before hollowing commences. The texture and the burnt fine line finish the piece and help to create a perfect geometric design. Once the piece is turned, bleaching, dyed water and varnishes are applied to the surface of the bowl.

I love optical illusions and there is a hypnotic side to this piece that I very much like. I would describe 'Architectonica Maxima' as being a marriage between both nature and architecture.

Woodworkers Institute

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AWGB Seminar , Architectonica Maxima

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