Studio of Bill Ooms

Bill Ooms

Art in Wood -- Ribbon Sculptures

Ribbon sculptures are made from a number of segmented "bowls" which are turned on a lathe, then cut apart and re-assembled to form a smooth flowing ribbon. Some of the ribbons are "mobius strips" which means that they only have one side.

No two sculptures are made alike. Each piece is truly one-of-a-kind. I may make a similar shape in another wood, and I often will use similar wood for more than one shape. However, I do not make more than one sculpture of a given shape and combination of wood.

For more information on the construction of these sculptures, see the resources page.

Click on any thumbnail for a larger image.

"Ball of Yarn"

12" Diameter

Wood: Purpleheart and Holly

Chasing a ball of yarn was a favorite pass-time of my cat. There are nearly 600 individual pieces of wood in this sculpture.


"Bow Ties"

17" High

Wood: Imbuya & Holly

Base: Black Granite

Hawaiian woodworkers repair cracks in old calabash bowls with bow-tie shaped stitches. I thought it would be fun to create the illusion of bow-tie stitches holding a ribbon together.


"Not YoMama's Cello"

46" High

Wood: Pal Dao, Tropical Walnut, Macassar Ebony

This is an ornamental piece (you can't apply tension to the strings). The tuning pegs are decorated with flower patterns on an ornamental lathe.



14" High

Wood: Leopardwood & Zircote

This is inspired by a recent trip to Arches National Park in Utah, where numerous delicate arches rise up from a matrix of rock.



27" Wide

Wood: Quilted Maple, Ebony, Black Veneer

This is a mobius ribbon, with the keys going continuously from one side of the ribbon to the other side. There are a total of 16 octaves of keys.

Sphere of Influence

"Sphere of Influence"

19" High

Wood: Lacewood & Imbuya

Base: Black Granite

The simplicity of a sphere is always attractive to me. It's even more interesting when you can make a flat ribbon twist around like a ball. This shape was inspired by the work of Jeff Hewitt.



18" High

Wood: Purpleheart, Wenge, Boire, Quilted Maple

Base: Black Belgium Marble

The sign of an accomplished furniture maker is their ability to make dovetail joints. Woodturners don't often have the opportunity to make dovetail joints, so I thought it would be interesting to make a ribbon that appeared to have interlocking dovetails.

Ezekiels Vision

"Ezekiel's Vision"

17" High

Wood: Imbuya

Base: Hulien Jade Marble

The prophet Ezekiel saw a vision of a "wheel within a wheel". This probably isn't what he saw, but this does resemble a loop floating within another loop.

Roller Coaster

"Roller Coaster"

21" High, 18" Wide

Wood: Quilted Maple, Bloodwood Veneer

Base: Black Belgium Marble

Wouldn't it be fun to ride a roller coaster that was a loop like this?


"Tiger by the Tail"

18" High

Wood: Zebrawood & Imbuya

Base: Black Belgium Marble

It's not Tigerwood, but I think that the Zebrawood actually looks a lot more like the stripes of a tiger than those of a zebra. The darker chocolate wood is the Imbuya.

Circle of Fifths

"Circle of Fifths"

25" High, 12" Wide

Wood: Quilted Maple, Ebony, Black Veneer

Base: Black Belgium Marble

There are 12 octaves of keys going around both "sides" of this mobius ribbon, representing each of the 12 key signatures in music. In music theory, the progression from one key to the next is known as the "Circle of Fifths".

Why Knot

"Why Knot?"

20" High

Wood: Monterillo

Base: Black Belgium Marble

Three loops, one continuous ribbon in a knot. I often look to mathematics for inspiration for new shapes. In math there is a field of study for knots, and this simple shape is known as a "trefoil knot".

Apple Peel

"Apple Peel"

20" High

Wood: Imbuya Burl

Base: Black Belgium Marble

The title comes not from the wood, but because the shape reminded me of my mom peeling apples. This is a mobius ribbon.



20" High

Wood: Purpleheart, Black and Maple Veneer strips

Base: Black Belgium Marble

No, it's not made from grape wood. But the natural color of the Purpleheart wood twists and curves like a wild grapevine.