Sunday, April 12, 2015

Handmade Vessels

I've been collecting handmade vessel pendants for years.  The first time I ever saw the cover of Beadwork Creates Necklaces in 2002, I've been wanting to make my own take on a particular necklace:
Vesselage necklace by Anna Karena Tollin, page 25-28 Campbell, Jean. Beadwork Creates Necklaces 30 Designs. Loveland: Interweave, LLC, 2002. Print.
 As beaders and crafters, I think most of us have some sort of attraction to miniature containers.  I don't know if it's just because our crafts come in small parts and pieces, so we're constantly looking for new storage.  Or perhaps its more that we can appreciate the fine craftsmanship and detail that small vessels have, while still retaining their functionality.  Creating with the vessels I have is always a bit of a struggle for me...because they're so hard to part with!  
Ceramic vessels: two raku vessels, porcelain single loop vessel, and rustic stoneware vessel by Jenny Davies-Reazor.

These two raku vessels were some of the first ones I ever bought, and still some of the most similar in shape and style to the vessel in the picture above.  One of the things I love about the raku is that it is porous - this means that I can place just a few drops of essential oil in one, and it will absorb into the interior with no need for a stopper or worry about spilling.  Of course, a cork stopper will preform the same function, and also act as a dauber for applying the oil or perfume.  I also love Jenny's more abstract vessel - the well inside is quite shallow, but would still be fun to fill with resin for more of a visual effect.
Metal vessels - gold plated and blue enamel vessel, silver plated essential oil vial.
Metal can also be crafted into intricate and functional vessels.  I have an idea for this enameled vessel...something along an Aquarius theme, with lots of dripping fringe.  This small essential oil vial was actually a promotional gift from the oil company I order from.  It has a threaded stopper and washer, so you can fill it with your most precious oils and not worry about any leakage.
Lampwork vessels: green/brown and red single loop vessels by Corvallis OR artist Alcyon Lord (contact Kaleidoscope Studios for purchasing), super tiny purple vessel by a Knoxville TN artist, brown and chartreuse spotted vessel by unknown Oregon artist, and sparkly blue single loop vessel by an Asheville NC artist.
Lampwork vessels are some of my know how I feel about color!  The sparkly blue vessel is my newest acquisition - from a pipemaker in Asheville NC.  It is a gorgeous color, sparkly aventurine glass inclusions and bubbles.  I love how refined the shape is, and yet the bubbles in the glass make me think of ancient glass before the techniques were refined.  
This is the most unusual lampwork vessel in my collection - by one of the Smoky Mountain Firecrackers, the local lampwork guild in Knoxville TN.  This vessel is open on the side, rather like a shell.  I love all the bright colors, and the unexpectedness of the opening on the side.  It will be a challenge to make something with this spectacular piece!

I am not the only one of the AJE members that likes vessels!  Check out what Lesley created with Caroline's ceramic vessel earlier this year:
Vessel by Caroline Dewison of Blue Berri Beads, Necklace by Lesley Watt of THEAElements.
I love this necklace - so rustic with the handmade elements, but the addition of chain and wire wrapping adds a refined look that doesn't detract from the handmade components.  

There are also some very cool artists creating spectacular vessels on Etsy!  Take a look at these:
Clockwise from Top Left: porcelain amphora by Amanda Breton of InnerWildes, Firestorm2 glass vessel by InfiniteCosmosGirl, blue double handle bottle by Ron Murphy of Glassnfire, translucent green bottle by Emblemglass, miniature klein bottle by KivaFord, and a fine silver artifact inspired vessel by Deanna Long of DKLStudios.
Oh man, I'm just drooling over every piece in these shops.  But more importantly, I'm inspired to create!  Not only with the vessels I already own, but after looking at all of this inspiration I have ideas of different ways to make vessels.  What if you hollowed out an antler tip or piece of hardwood?  What could you create with polymer clay or copper or bronze clay?  Could you dome and solder two flat pieces of metal to create a canteen-like vessel?  Can you create a functional vessel in your chosen medium?  We would love to see vessels of your own, or jewelry you have made with vessels!



  1. Wow some gorgeous pieces here LIndsay...there is something about functional forms in miniature.

  2. The bead work in the first necklace is gorgeous. You made some outstanding pieces of jewelry.

  3. Wow, you collected some really stunning vessel here. I'm intrigues with your suggestion of a hollowed wooden vessel or one made of copper metal clay. Could a vessel be made of leather?


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