Architectonica Maxima

Monday 9 July 2018

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.