This is a lathe turned Buckeye Spirit Vessel with an ebony cross shaped finial. It was made by the late wood turning artist Bruce Bernson ( 1950-2014) of Santa Barbara, California. Though a trained geologist: Bruce found art in the texture and
magic of the grains of a piece of wood recovered from a fire. Or within a burl of wood that had fallen in a forest. He was forever dragging trees up the mountain of Painted Cave. He saw under the burned burls the beauty and spirit he could liberate. Thus was born the Spirit Vessel. It is a gourd shaped empty vessel turned on a lathe and polished to accent the beauty of the wood. This one has a small opening top and that is capped with an ebony cross as the finial. It is simple and elegant. The buckeye is local to Santa Barbara and the ebony was from Africa. The total Spirit Vessel is 9" high , 7" in diameter. The cross is 4 1/2" tall and 1 1/2" across. It is on a rosewood stand that measures 5 1/2" long by 5 3/4" wide and 1 1/2" tall. This piece is signed Bernson1998 on the bottom of the vessel. Bruce was an eccentric person both loved and misunderstood by some his fellow artists in the folk art community. He was featured in many industry magazines, had the cover of several publications. He showed in the White House and was one of the Hundred Best Folk Artists in America an exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute. Some of his golf clubs still rattle around the Supreme Court presented by a past president. I have just begun to empty his store house of samples he kept for his own pleasure. He also traded his work for other artist's work that he admired. I am selling his pieces at his gallery wholesale prices.
I sell his pieces in my own gallery in Sebastopol, Ca. Bruce was my baby brother.
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Art & Antiques from Victorian through the 1950's and slightly beyond
The retailer in me wants more dimension, color, texture and artistry. Beauty or whimsey are a must.