RCB Zorro Vases
The Zorro vase is a dynamic, modern design, which becomes a different vase from every angle. The design enables and encourages innovation in flower arrangements; ensembles of two or three of the vases can create even more dramatic compositions. Three sizes are currently made: Short (8½" tall - $300), Medium (12" tall - $450) and Tall (15½" tall - $650). All have the same cross-section or plan area. At right: Tall black, Medium black ochre, and Short blue-green.
I have been playing with the possibilities of arrangements of six Zorro vases, three in Z orientation, 3 in S orientation. Preliminary pictures can be found here.
The idea for the Zorro vase came out of one of those conversations between David and me where we find our minds working exactly on the same lines, though in the end our designs went in very different directions. In this case, David was thinking about designs for new vases (and working on the first slab vase), and in discussing possibilities we both at the same time mentioned having the idea of making a vase that was pinched down to nothing in the middle, forming a two-part vase.
We both had several ideas based on this, mostly involving curved shapes, but after a few minutes I drew an extreme shape, essentially two joined triangles, and after thinking about it for a minute, I was sure it could actually be constructed. By the next day I had figured out how I wanted the vase to look from other perspectives than the top view. When I had thought about how it would look, I realized the front folded line of the vase would form a big angular zigzag. I instantly thought of the famous Zorro signature Z slash, and therefore had a name. It had to wait until after the next craft show, but a month or so later I started to build one.
The vases are formed from two brass sheets folded precisely into matching sides. The side seams are brazed carefully, and a bottom is fitted and brazed in as well. The side seams are then sanded smooth. They are tested for water-tightness. The vases are then patinaed with traditional sculptural patinas which we mix from scratch. Most patinas are applied with a brush while heating the metal with an oxy-acetylene torch. Many are layered to provide deeper, more complex colors.
Each vase can be used as a connected pair of vases: a small arrangement of flowers, or even a single flower, can be held in the small front section, or a larger arrangement in the back section, or you can fill the whole piece. The short vase will only contain a small amount of water, and the front section may appear too short to hold any flower arrangement, but with a small frog it can be used for dramatic and elegant ikebana arrangements.
Two vases of different sizes can be interlocked, making an even more intricate architectural effect, and allow four compartments for flower arrangement in this double (or quadruple) vase. Two vases of the same size can interlock to create another dramatic form. This also allows you to combine two patinas. All three vases also align as seen at the top of this page, to emphasize their top diagonal, and form a wide but vertically-oriented array along a sideboard or mantelpiece.
Zorro vases are currently available in the following patinas:
blue-green, white blue-green,
dark green, black,
ochre, white ochre, black ochre,
brown, white brown,
grey, silver, silver brown, silver blue-green,
They are not available in mottled or sprayed patinas, because of the difficulty of masking the exposed inner surface from the patina. In any case, the mottled effects of these patinas do not work well with the hard geometry of the Zorro vases.
Designs copyright © 2006-2022 Reed C Bowman