A beech bowl – this project is rather special as it is now one of our family heirlooms in memory of my grandmother, Mildred Saperstein who passed away last year; her home was her treasure and this material came from a tree that grew from a sapling over four decades that she called this house a home.
This was still a firewood rescue, the beech tree fell during Super Storm Sandy, as we were preparing the house for sale. I mentioned to my father that I wanted the tree, and my father decided to take the obscure looking chunk that became this bowl home along with the trunk.
The turning project was completed by fellow craftsman Michael Pietras, as he's a lot better with a lathe than I am and he happened to catch notice of this chunk one morning and decide to cut into it. As soon as he began to bandsaw it down to a turning blank it was obvious we hit paydirt.
This one section shows grain lines that are curly, quarter sawn, end, bias, crotch, straight, and face. Along with this abnormality this is a rare find of beach with an assortment of mineral stains and spalting.
Turning wet allowed us to achieve thin flexible wall, then allowing a "quick" dry it warped into whatever shape it desired to achieve. The shape became distorted, and the surface rippled. A single butterfly was inserted to stabilize one large crack.
The bowl is finished with West Systems Epoxy and then final coats with Waterlox Tung Oil. It is stable and waterproof, though given we choose not to completely fill the cracks it will not hold liquid.
This is yet another reminder – never just toss wood aside. At least take a few samples of a fallen tree to your bandsaw and see what's inside!
Dimensions: Per Commission