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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Wood: Vase

Ray Allen
maple and ebony
8 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (22.3 x 26.7 cm) diam.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George Peter Lamb and Lucy Scardino in memory of Natalie Rust Lamb

Ray Allen enjoyed the challenge of working with complex and time-consuming techniques. He methodically built up segments of wood around his vessel forms and smoothed each part on the lathe before adding the next. Allen used many types of wood to get the rich and varied colors of his pieces, and Vase demonstrates how two contrasting tones have been used to enhance the simple form and geometric design.

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