I was looking at a house for sale and noticed a fellow across the street using a power pruner to cut up a live oak trunk about 8" in diameter. "Ah Ha!" I thought, knowing I was running short of fresh turning stock. It turned out he was not cutting it up for firewood and was something of a woodturner himself, but was spending most of his time on other projects. A few minutes later it was in the back of my pickup and on its way home.
Here's the result so far... about a dozen bark edge bowls drying and nearly ready to sand and finish.
Box elder, a type of maple with little or no commercial value, often has some spectacular red coloring that most associate with the tree's response to injury from the box elder beetle. What you need to know if you collect work made from box elder is that the spectacular red color is photo reactive and will fade in ultraviolet light.
From the 2010 archives this vessel was turned from spalted sweetgum from north Georgia. It's approximately 11" in diameter and is turned cross grain (with the log chunk spinning end over end). Natural cracks were filled with black tinted epoxy and the rim was textured before finishing with lacquer.
Here's what's coming from Rick Urban in Flagler Beach...
When the fires were ravaging southern California these were some of the victims: manzanita root burls. I don't like to think about what they cost (including shipping) or the trouble involved in turning them, but they will yield something absolutely spectacular! Stay tuned.
Now we need to do the bottoms like we did the tops except the hole is 1/8" smaller than in the tops.
We mount the bottom in the chuck using the tenon we left for it. After trimming the top of the bottom to size it for a snug fit inside the top, we put the top in place and turn them as one so the form flows from top to bottom.
We add whatever decorations we want to the surface and finish. Sanding sealer followed by shellac based friction polish is a quick and easy finish for small projects like this.
The snug fit allows me access to the top for decoration and finishing.
A little bee's wax where top and bottom slide together,
... and we have a bunch of boxes needing their bottoms finished. We'll do that next time.