Vessels by Woodturner Bill Luce


I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s quite obvious to see a makers inspirations straight off the bat. I hadn’t even read through any information on woodturner Bill Luce, but instantly I knew he had some sort of affiliation with Japan, or had been inspired by that particular region of the world. His clean sensibility and exact use of natural material was quite the giveaway, the shapes also take on a oriental type vibe that resembles traditional Japanese vessels.

All of this is for a good reason too, as Bill was born in Germany of American parents, but spent much of his formative years living on the island of Okinawa, now part of Japan. He still remembers today as a young boy examining in detail ceremonial lacquered wooden bowls, admiring them for their simplicity and natural feeling that they had in his hand. Years later he found himself wanting to create objects that had a similar power both when viewed and held, if you ask me he’s certainly achieved this throughout his career. It’s seems like Bill picked up the ideals that those lacquer craftsmen had and has pursued a similar path himself, to produce the absolute best vessels possible.

One thing I noticed about his work is the fact that his forms look almost ceramic, it’s quite uncanny this mix of aesthetic, with the wood coming through as well you see all the shapes and patterns found in nature. It’s also quite apparent that he doesn’t use a foot on any of his forms either, they’re all sitting on a rounded lower portion, his thinking is that the silhouette is not disrupted in any way. The most inspiring thing for me is his dedication to the craft, and his constant exploration of shape and form, expressing himself through a multitude of vessels.

Bill now creates in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Seattle to be exact, where he is surrounded by nature, spending time alone in his studio in a natural setting. I picked out a selection of my favourite works from him, but I would highly recommend viewing his page as he explains the processes behind his works and how he makes each form (techniques etc). He also has quite the archive, I can’t wait to see what else he creates in the future!