Shadow Play #1

  • Virginia Dotson, Shadow Play #1, 1994, birch, maple, and aniline dye, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George Peter Lamb and Lucy Scardino in memory of Natalie Rust Lamb, 1995.100.5, © 1994, Virginia Dotson

Virginia Dotson begins her pieces by cutting strips of wood to varying thicknesses with a band saw, which she then glues together to form a block. She removes the center using a gouging tool while the piece is turned on the lathe, revealing the layered pattern inside the vessel. In Shadow Play #1, Dotson carefully removed some of the laminate layers at the mouth of the vessel to create negative space. The angular lines combined with the light and dark wood mimic the striking shadows that sometimes appear in nature as a result of strong sunlight.

I shape the layered wood to reveal compositions of patterns that change as I work, and change again from the observer’s perspective.” The artist, quoted in New Masters of Woodturning: Expanding the Boundaries of Wood Art, 2008
Shadow Play #1
9 128 34 in. (24.222.3 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of George Peter Lamb and Lucy Scardino in memory of Natalie Rust Lamb

Mediums Description
birch, maple, and aniline dye
Object Number
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