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John M. Russell

"My goal is to create a form that demands to be held, to be explored, and to be viewed for its inherent beauty."

Russell uses woods that come from all over the world—unusual, highly figured, burled, and exotic. Rather than forcing each piece to take a certain shape, he allows the wood's natural grain to determine the pattern. He believes that his role is to help express the wood's personality in the vessel's final form.

Applying his knowledge of the technical aspects of photography to the process of wood turning, John Russell distills the vision and essence of one craft for use in another. Knowing how light surrounds and reflects off photographed subjects, Russell inlays many of his large vessels with minerals—opals, turquoise, and pewter—to capture those same reflections. The way the light reflects off of these inlays, as well as the shape and grain of the wood, allows the vessel to take on a personality of its own.

Russell received a BA in photography from the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. It was during his years as a commercial photographer that his artistic interest began to take on a physical form. His travels around the world also influenced how his artistic creativity would take shape. He has been a self-taught woodturner since 1989, creating work in his home studio in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

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Perfume Bottle
Wood Perfume Bottle

$ 110
Perfume Bottle
Wood Perfume Bottle

$ 110
Perfume Bottle
Wood Perfume Bottle

$ 110