Friday 23 March 2012

Carved Bamboo Vase

Bamboo is a material I wouldn't usually consider for a vase, but during a recent trip to a friends house in Pokhara, Nepal, I was surprised to see the size and thickness of the wild bamboo growing next to their house and also grateful to be able to cut a short length for later use in the UK.

I saw a lot of large bamboo growing in Japan, but had never cut through any to check the thickness. As the photo below shows, the thickness of the bamboo allows for deeper carving than I had ever imagined. I gave the section of bamboo plenty of time to season as I would rather see splitting before creating the vase than after its completion.

The finished vase is a simple design with a slightly fluted neck. I feel now that I could have cut deeper into the bamboo for the neck, but was worried about compromising its strength. The lugs are from a different wood and have been attached after hand stitching the buffalo leather covering. I thought a large betel nut would not only look nice, but also tie in with the other materials. The bamboo, buffalo leather cover, betel nut and goat leather cord are all sourced in Nepal.