Boxelder VesselArtist(s)John JordanObject Creation Date1996Medium & SupportboxelderDimensions
14 5/8 x 9 x 9 in. (37 x 22.86 x 22.86 cm);14 5/8 x 9 x 9 in. (37 x 22.86 x 22.86 cm)Credit LineGift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto BohlenLabel copy
Born 1950, Nashville, Tennessee
Lives and works in Antioch, Tennessee
Gift of Robert M. and Lillian Montalto Bohlen, 2002/2.150
Throughout its history, the lathe has been largely used to produce decorative arts objects. Contemporary woodturners such as John Jordan self-consciously work within this decorative arts tradition. As Jordan explains, his pieces “are simply decorative vessels that reflect my interest in surface textures/contrasts and form and the personal responses that
I have to them, which I suspect are similar to the feelings that makers of decorative objects have felt for thousands of years.”
In Boxelder Vessel, Jordan draws our attention to the vessel’s surface through his painstakingly carved, all-over texturing.
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
John Jordan is known for the classical forms and rich textures of his carved and turned hollow vessels like Boxelder Vessel. Jordan feels that simple objects can be powerful and emotional just for what they are: “These pieces are simply decorative vessels that reflect my interest in surface textures/contrasts and form and the personal responses that I have to them, which I suspect are similar to the feelings that makers of decorative objects have felt for thousands of years.”
Jordan had made furniture a hobby when he was still a computer systems engineer, and he started turning wood in 1986. Within a year, Jordan quit his job and started turning full-time. While Jordan feels that his finished pieces are more about the object than the wood, he nevertheless feels a deep bond with wood as a medium: “I am connected to the material of wood as a potter is connected to the clay—it’s what I do and who I am.”
from the exhibition Nature Transformed: Wood Art from the Bohlen Collection, June 12 – October 3, 2004Subject matter
Visual and tactile interplay of form and surface, and the contrast of different textured surfaces. The artist is interested in creating singular, finished art objects that do not necessarily convey the materiality of the medium.Physical Description
A vessel of bleached wood. From a narrow base, the vessel widens gradually. Near the top it begans to narrow gradually then narrows quickly on a nearly horizontal plane to a very small mouth. The surface, apart from the smooth lip of the mouth, is finely textured with vertical scoring.
light-colored wood vase with textured hatching across surfacesPrimary Object Classification Wood and Woodcarving Primary Object TypevesselCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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texture (physical attribute)
wood (plant material)