Grechukhin: Sandblasted Morta Sphinx with Boxwood
Product Number: 002-196-0005
While morta is a relatively new medium for Vladimir Grechukhin, it certainly didn't take long for the Russian carver to get into the swing of it. Arguably, most of his body of work makes use of contrast and juxtaposition — soft, gentle curves along a shank that, when turned 90º is, in fact, razor sharp; plateau stained jet black on otherwise red-hued smooth pipes — and with morta, he has found one more tool for his chest.
The shape itself is somewhat of a contradiction, with the Sphinx usually reserved for displays of flame grain and birdseye that would be lost otherwise, yet here it is in a material that doesn't really have grain in the same way, let alone when it's sandblasted. The fore and aft panels, softly curved, with the aft slightly larger, and both being not quite hemispherical, meet in sharp fins that run from rim to the sharp, jutting heel at the base of the bowl. And finally, as if in a coup de grace, Vladimir has set off the jet black stummel and stem with a ferrule of pale boxwood.
— Adam O'Neill