Maple Vessel

Media - 1995.61 - SAAM-1995.61_1 - 12637
Copied Phil Brown, Maple Vessel, 1995, turned, sanded, and varnished maple, 7 1417 18 in. (18.543.5 cm) diam., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund, 1995.61

Artwork Details

Maple Vessel
7 1417 18 in. (18.543.5 cm) diam.
Credit Line
Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund
Mediums Description
turned, sanded, and varnished maple
Object Number

Artwork Description

Phil Brown typically gives his flared bowls a narrow base to enhance the feeling of lightness and delicacy, as seen in Maple Vessel. To create his pieces, he roughly cuts the shape from a tree trunk or branch. After the wood dries out, he applies a layer of epoxy paint to harden weaker areas and to treat parts of the wood that might contain fungus. Brown then uses a lathe to cut away at the form until it reaches the desired thinness and shape, finishing the piece with varying grades of sandpaper to create a very smooth surface. Brown remembers where and when he found every piece of wood that he turns into a vessel, and notes the wood's source location on the bottom of each of his pieces.