Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Vase, from the Fraxinus Coloratus Series

1989 J. Paul Fennell Born: Beverly, Massachusetts 1938 turned ash 7 1/4 x 6 in. (18.5 x 15.3 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of George Peter Lamb and Lucy Scardino in memory of Natalie Rust Lamb 1995.100.7 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 54B

Luce Center Quote

"At that particular time in my career [about 1989] as a woodturner, I focused primarily upon the discovery and subsequent presentation of the inherent beauty of the wood, within the aesthetic of a lathe-turned vessel." Artist correspondence

Luce Center Label

J. Paul Fennel made the Fraxinus Coloratus series at the beginning of his "attempt at serious woodturning" in the late 1980s (artist correspondence). The Latin title refers to the colorful ash wood that he used to create all of the pieces in the series. With this vase, Fennel focused on the "spectacular pattern" he encountered in this particular piece of ash's heartwood, highlighting what he describes as the "marbling" in the wood. Fennel salvaged this piece of ash, as many woodturners do, from a commercial tree remover's lot, who most likely removed the tree due to disease, neglect, or damage.


decorative arts

Crafts - Wood

wood - ash

About J. Paul Fennell

Born: Beverly, Massachusetts 1938

More works in the collection by
J. Paul Fennell