Here is another project that I completed a couple years ago. It was a wedding present for a good friend.
I started by laminating pieces of rosewood, padauk, maple and walnut in a symmetric pattern. After the glue dried, I sawed off the corners, and mounted it in my wood lathe.
This was the largest chunk of wood that I had ever turned. The lathe took almost 5 seconds to get up to speed, and I was more than a little concerned about the wood coming loose.
I only have one proper wood lathe tool. It's a rough gouge, and I use only that tool to get very close to the final shape on most of my projects.
I use chisels, files, rasps, and finally sandpaper to finish the piece. I usually sand to 220 grit while the piece is still on the lathe. For the final pass, I stop the lathe and sand by hand in the direction of the grain.
I built a crazy-long extension for a Forstner bit.
I made an acrylic tube that sits down into the vase, allowing it to hold water without damage to the wood. The top section of the vase is painted with black semi-gloss. The wood finish is either wipe-on polyurethane or a Tung oil finish (I can't remember).