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Thread: Finial/NoFinial?

  1. #1


    This piece is 10 inches in diameter by 23 inches tall. The foot is rosewood. I put a foot on it because I intended to use a rosewood and boxelder finial... It's pretty imposing already, I'm wondering if a finial might be overkill, so your impressions/opinions would be greatly appreciated and strongly considered.
    As a side note, it's the tallest piece I've ever done. It's the first piece that I used the Kobra deep hollowing system that I recently acquired. I don't see how I could turn anything taller on my Mustard Monster... I don't have room in my shop for an extension.
    Last edited by George Guadiane; 01-05-2018 at 9:05 AM. Reason: silly spelling errors
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  2. #2
    George, very nice piece!! Beautiful wood and well executed.

    I will offer some thoughts for your consideration. This piece is beyond the size typically displayed in a shelf situation - bookcase, secretary, etc., so making it taller isn't going to change that. It will need to be displayed openly and independently regardless. So, I think a finial would be fine.

    The curvature you have on the shoulder and mouth is conducive to a finial as you should be able to continue the flow and lift off the shoulder with a consistent curve into the base for the finial. That isn't always the case and, in fact, most forms I see posted fail to have a smooth transition into the finial. That problem originates in the form, not the finial. Unless one has a nice rounded shoulder transitioning into a gentle concave flow into the mouth it is nearly impossible to have a smooth transition into a finial.

    All that said, I think a predominately rosewood finial, with an accent inclusion of box elder would look nice. It will need to have some height, be delicate to compliment the linear form, yet have some mass at the accent point because of the overall visual weight of the piece. Typically, a finial half the height of the form is a good starting point for a proportionate look (rule of thirds), although that is subject to change for various factors - color, shape, etc.

    I think a finial would need to have relatively thin areas, along with much wider transitional areas in order to look appropriate. I universally use a cove base on all my finials as that lets me continue the curve off the shoulder/mouth. I think a rosewood cove base would do well on this piece, too. Then, you could have a box elder inclusion topped with the remaining spire of rosewood. I would not try to replicate the form in the inclusion as I think it would be disproportionate. I think a larger bead would be appropriate - not round, but more compressed or horizontally oval in shape.

    More than you needed to hear, I am sure, but your piece inspired me to comment for whatever you may find it worth.

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  3. #3
    Thank you for all the input john. I agree, essentially across the board. Since the boxelder piece will be a separate piece, I'll probably try your suggestion AND what I had originally considered, which is the repetition of the original form. I'll construct the elements so that I can assemble and disassemble as needed.
    I'll photograph them both and ask opinions again.
    Last edited by George Guadiane; 01-05-2018 at 11:54 AM. Reason: afterthought
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  4. #4
    My thought on replication of the form is that placement of the accent in a finial usually looks better if placed at about the 1/3 mark on the finial - actually somewhere around 38% based on the golden ratio. That becomes more difficult with an elongated form. In this case, if one uses a cove base, it needs some height in order to position the accent correctly.

    But, these are just my thoughts and personal tastes. Yours may differ.

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  5. #5
    Sounds about right
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Strongsville OH
    Instead of a finial, consider a collar made from rosewood. A thin, maybe 1/8 to 3/16 wide rim, and similar height, could tie in with the foot without much added height. I have done several of these and they look great. See the example. Since you have a slight 'neck' on the boxelder, you would need to match that contour on the underside of the rosewood collar to make it sit nicely

    vase wit collar.JPG

  7. #7
    This piece would be improved by a finial in my opinion. I agree with all of John's suggestion except for finial height. I like a finial that is more than 1/2 the height of the vase on short wide pieces, for this tall slender vase a shorter finial would be my choice.
    Last edited by Dennis Ford; 01-05-2018 at 7:34 PM.
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  8. #8
    This is a piece I posted a picture of earlier today (obviously somewhere else), so we're thinking alike.
    I also posted this
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Flower mound, Tx
    I think the larger the HF, the less a finial should be considered.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Millsboro, DE
    Either way, it's a beautiful piece. For my 2 cents I like the idea of a collar, especially a pretty flat one. That would give the piece a finished look consistent with the base without distracting the eye from that great wood. Overall the piece to me has a somewhat Ellsworth-esque look. Nice.

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