Natural Edge Bowl
Spalted English Boxwood
with African Blackwood Dovetail Inserts
Again, the material for this piece came from a very old stand of true English Boxwood on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Its old age - 80 to 95 years - and the sometimes harsh growing conditions in the area have left wonderful spalting and very fine and dense grain. When a rare piece like this is completed, and the first coat of oil is applied - allowing the subtle nuances of grain work, imperfections and coloration comes through full flush - I indeed feel grateful at all the work that went into it, and as delighted as a young kid on a Christmas morning.
Three African Blackwood dovetail inserts were hand-cut, and utilized in the largest bark inclusion, giving it the appearance of strength and a means of stopping the cavity from further movement. These dovetail inserts were influenced by ancient Hawaiian Master Bowl makers. Their black color also counterbalances the dark fire-burnished natural edge of the bowl.
Purely a decorative turning, this Boxwood bowl, resurrected from a private estate, now has its second life: After surviving for nearly a century as part of a formal garden, it can now be displayed as a piece of artwork for another century or even longer.
Photography by Peter Shefler © 2003 Clearstory Studios