"Segmented turning is a small part geometry and tons of patience and imagination."
The extraordinary and award-winning vessels created by artist Larry Witt are made up of as many as 5,000 pieces of wood; each vessel a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Witt, who has admired anything handmade since he was a boy, began his own artistic pursuits at the tender age of eight by carving leather. For the next fifty years he perfected those skills, creating belts, wallets, purses and saddles, until his hands could not handle the demands any longer. That is when Witt turned his attention, skills and artistic vision to the art of wood.
For Witt the attraction of wood turning is that there is absolutely no limit to what he can create; his challenge is only to transfer his many ideas into designs. Each day Witt spends a few hours in his home studio, working alone, welcoming observers and allowing inspiration to strike. He works on as many as ten vessels at a time. Depending on how many pieces of wood are involved and how complex a design is, it can take from twenty or thirty hours up to 1,000 hours for him to complete a piece.
Witt composes his pieces using many different species of wood with maple, oak, ebony, mesquite and bloodwood his favorites. Using no dyes or stains it is the variety of natural colorations in his wood choices that define Witt's work. Often Witt begins a piece with a design in mind and skillfully creates as he goes, building layer by layer; for more complex works he will create a rough sketch of his design to guide him. For Witt, this work is all a labor of love.
Segmented turning is a complex process that requires not only the exquisite design skills that Witt possesses but precision woodworking and turning skills as well. It is no wonder that Larry Witt's vessels are collected by people from all over the world.