Bronze "Hu" Vessel

December 2007

This little bronze jar, which stands just under 1.5 inches tall with the cap on, originally started out as an experiment. I had just gotten a lathe for turning wax models for rings, and wanted to see how far I could push its usefulness—could I create an interesting hollow form? The result looked vaguely like an ancient Chinese vessel known as a 壺 (hu). You can see here that it it really is hollow and that the walls are fairly consistent in thickness throughout the piece.

My dad is a huge fan of ancient Chinese bronzes, so it occurred to me that for a gift I could cast the hu in bronze and engrave his name into the surface in "bronze script" from the Zhou Dynasty (1066-221 B.C.E.). The characters inscribed in the side read 艾文壺, or "the vessel of Ài Wén" (my dad's Chinese name).

The result doesn't look exactly like an actual Zhou Dynasty bronze vessel, but it's pretty! I'm looking forward to seeing how this piece looks as it gains its own natural green patina over time.

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