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Written by on Thursday, October 28, 2010
Turned Wood by Rendezvous West

Extensions of the Living Tree

My friends Deborah and Russell Shamah of Rendezvous West are endless pools of talent! I continue to be amazed by the variety and number of beautiful hand crafted pieces that they create, especially since Russell has a full time job in addition to his creative pursuits! Russell not only carves distinctive leather vessels, but he is also a very talented wood turner. It is hard to believe that Russell has only been turning wood for about a year and a half! Amazing!

For Russell, creating a turned wood piece may take several days in the conception stage. Finding the right piece of wood that will enhance the final project is another challenge. The grain pattern, bark inclusions, and natural edge must all be considered. Sometimes after selecting a piece for a certain project, Russell will determine that it is better suited for something else. Russell primarily uses wood that he finds in Colorado - all of it from dead or dying trees that he then turns into works of art.

When Russell applies his chisel to the wood, he becomes one with the nature of the wood. Through this process he sees the response of the wood under his chisel. He is able to intuit where the wood should be left in its natural state, how to finish an edge, where to cut, and even the kind of finish he should use. "You realize the wood will only yield its beauty if you become aware of the potential of the piece."

Featured below are a few of Russell Shamah's spectacular turned wood pieces, each of which is one of a kind. I love the color and rugged texture of the Natural Edge Maple Wood Bowl (left), which is available for purchase at the Earth, Wind & Fires Gallery in Laramie, Wyoming. One of my most favorite pieces is the Pine Bough Vase (center), made of Colorado pine with a natural edge and brass inlay. The unusual shape of the Aspen Bark Bowl (right) comes from the inclusion of the branch, which creates the look of a handle or spout. It is such a unique and special piece!

Visit the Rendezvous West website to see and purchase several beautiful turned wood vessels by Russell Shamah, and to obtain contact information for the Earth, Wind & Fires Gallery. When visiting the Rendezvous West website, check out the beautiful sculpted leather vessels and jewelry also hand crafted by Deborah and Russell Shamah.

Rendezvous West Natural Edge Maple Bowl Rendezvous West Pine Bough Vase Rendezvous West Aspen Bark Inclusion Bowl