lathe-turned spalted maple wood salad bowl

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turned wooden salad bowl: spalted maple

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wood-turning by Edric Florence
Woodturnings: spalted maple hollow-turned vase with natural-edge lip
"Coolie" Bowl
Spalted Maple Wood

Woodworkers as well as other artisans are often asked to name their work or pieces, or a series of pieces. A piece of this size and with its very unique qualities certainly deserves a name. The influence for this piece took me back to my younger days in Hawaii. The labor crews in the fields in and around Hawaii as well as the Pacific Rim all wore hats that were influenced by the Chinese Coolies (Asian labor gangs). Turn this bowl upside down and you will understand how this name came about.

The material for this piece was obtained through a local abortist crew. The incredible spalting and colored patterns in this piece were obtained by "brewing" it (meaning, the fresh green log was intentionally buried in moist sawdust) for at least 15 months or longer. What I try to achieve, or force, by this process is the start and then the timed inhibition of the natural decaying process. Keeping a freshly cut log in a moist sawdust pile will sometimes cultivate the type of fungi that create what is known as spalting as well as other very natural, but unusual colors and abnormalities in the grain patterns.

There is quite an art to this, and even with much experience and experimentation, there is no guarantee that the process will be successful - sometimes part of the wood decays to a point where it can no longer be turned. In addition, spalted material is very difficult to work with and requires respiratory protection during its turning and sanding.

This bowl has been finished with multiple coats of tung oil and then sealed with a clear lacquer finish so that it can be used either functionally or decoratively.

Dimensions: 18.5" x 6"

Status: Sold

Item Number: 132

photography by Peter Shefler Clearstory StudiosPhotography by Peter Shefler   © 2002  Clearstory Studios

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