turned wood hollow vessel: English Yew wood

turned wood hollow vessel: English Yew root: alternate view

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wood-turning by Edric Florence
Woodturnings: English Yew hollow-turned vessel
Hollow-Turned Vessel
English Yew Root
"Puka" Series

Three hours of digging in my neighbor's yard one hot and steamy day last summer yielded the unusual looking root structure of the English Yew tree from which this piece was turned. Planted nearly 30 years ago, this particular tree started to die off slowly over the last few years and I was honored to have given it a second life. It is a shame that the majority of this type of material ends up in a landfill or trash dump, given that the opportunity to work with such material is an unbelievable joy especially when the piece is completely finished (or extremely frustrating when I cannot finish a piece because of decay and/or stress cracks). My success rate with being able to complete finished pieces from this kind of green wood raw material is less than 50%, but being able to bring even one piece to fruition - one reason that I started turning over 20 years ago - is still a pleasure.

As with many of my recent creations (my children), this piece is moving up quickly on my most favorite list. This piece was finished in early 2005 with the initial stages of turning starting in late 2004. This hollow turning was a true "work-in-progress", where I started and stopped working on the lathe for many periods, daily debating or sketching what might be the best method of tackling this piece. It was often only a slight twitch of the hand away from being destroyed. Simply being too aggressive or too timid, hesitating too long between periods of turning, could lead to its return to the firewood box (albeit a very expensive firewood box as far as time and labor consumed).

Bringing these types of turnings to completion requires me not only to be creative, but also very attentive, relying on patience that I don't normally possesses, while it is put through a very delicate and exacting drying process. "Green" (still or recently growing or alive) wood, turns and handles much differently than the stabilized "seasoned" wood stock most production turners use. It expands and contracts and can check or crack in unexpected ways if not properly stabilized and cured. Then it is hand-rubbed with 8 to 10 coats of Tung oil over a period several weeks or months after which it is finished with a carnauba wax buffing.

With proper care, this piece will last several lifetimes or more. As a part of my "Puka" Series - Puka [poo' kah], loosely translated from the Hawaiian language, means "holes" or "perforations" - this piece is truly an unusual, distinctive, and unique creation. The interior of this vessel was dyed black so that the viewer focuses on the exterior and the unusual colorations and grain patterns of this chatoyant wood that are brought to light by the turning process.

[ Note: "chatoyant" means: "having a changeable luster, or color, like that of a changeable silk, or of a cat's eye in the dark" ]

Dimensions: 6" x 7"

Weight: 10 oz.

Status: Sold

Item Number: 155

photography by Peter Shefler Clearstory StudiosPhotography by Peter Shefler   © 2005  Clearstory Studios

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