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Allen Alexopulos

Banksia Pod Hollow Form Study

A lidded hollow form fashioned from an Australian Banksia pod with African Blackwood base and finial. Base Diameter: 1 3/8" Height: 13 3/4" Max Diameter: 2 3/8" Finish: Spray Lacquer, Friction polish

Banksia Pod Hollow Form Study
Allen Alexopulos, Apr 11, 2010
    • Chuck Jones
      I got to the party late, but I agree with all the positive comments. Thanks for taking time to explain how you did it. I have one that someone gave me over a year ago and I'm only barely aware what it is. Heck, another 4-5 years maybe I'll get up the nerve to try something with it.
    • Allen Alexopulos
      Good Evening Chuck,

      It's never too late to get to a party!

      As it is said "...every journey begins with the first step...". There are many easy projects including tea candle holders that one can turn from a banksia pod. You should be able to find some good ones by Googling around the web. Also, Cindy Drozda has an excellent Banksia pod reference guide on her web site...

      Good Turning & Best Regards,

    • kevinkabby
      My question is the golden ratio. I use the ratio in everything that I design. Isn't it(w x 1.6) So if the pod is 3 inches wide the finial would be 3 x 1.6 which would be 4.8. To me it doesn't seem like the ratio was used. Maybe I am applying it wrong.

      It is a very nice piece I might add
    • Allen Alexopulos
      Hi Kevin,

      In my case the distance from the base of the piece to the top of the pod was 8 5/16". Let's call that dimension a. The length of the finial was 5 5/16". Let's call that dimension b. The Golden Ratio rule as I understand it says that a/b should be ~1.618 which is usually referred to as phi. In my case 8.3125/5.3125 = ~1.565. If I had made the finial 3/16" shorter the ratio would have worked out to 8.3125/5.125 = ~1.622, not perfect but still pretty close to phi.

      If you were working on a piece with a rectangular profile, then width x length = phi, just as you noted. There are many ways to apply the Golden Ratio in art and architecture. In this piece I chose the simplest of all, a straight line. There are many references available out on the web that describe not only how the Golden Ratio is calculated but how it can be applied.

      I hope this note helps you understand how I chose to use the Golden Ratio...

      Best Regards,
    • Mr. Don
      Thanks for the update....tally-ho, tiz off to the shop I go!! Hell, for this, even dinner will wait!!!
    • Lou Carbone
      Wow Allen that is spectacular. Well done.
    • kevinkabby
      Interesting, I always used it in the rectangle form and or the golden spiral. I have never heard of using in in a linear fashion. It makes sense. Do you use it in any other way that may be enlightening? Always looking for new ideas? I designed a vessels shape by using the golden spiral, the spiral was the exterior shape of the vessel. Haven't sold one of them yet! LOL
    • Allen Alexopulos
      Thanks for the kind feedback Lou...

      Kevin, I loved your "Haven't sold one of them yet" comment. Designing with the Golden Ratio guarantees nothing. The only thing that really matters is how our customers perceive our turnings and we all know how unpredictable perceptions can be.

      In his book entitled "Math and the Mona Lisa" Bulent Atalay observed that in architecture is not uncommon to use nested or recursive instances of the Golden Ratio. He offered the front facade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur as examples of this notion. One could readily apply this concept to turnings by simply using phi to proportion more than just the width to the height. In my piece, I might have also used phi to proportion the width of the base to the max width of the pod (It was actually pretty close at ~1.73) or the length of the base (below the pod) to the finial length. The combinations are endless if you think about it...

      Have a pleasant evening,
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