It’s the leaves and bark of the sassafras which are aromatic — once the bark is off the log, the aroma is lost. The wood remains handsome though, its dark end grain giving way to a pale yellow along the grain.
The bowl is about 4 ½” in diameter and 2″ tall. Turned from a wet blank already showing some splits, it remained relatively stable during its time on the lathe. The exterior was charred with a propane torch before an oil and wax finish was applied.
Sassafras is brittle and, as I pushed the limits on how thin a bowl I could achieve (3/32″ at the sides and bottom), the rim did break in places.
It’s a pleasure to use this bowl which might explain why I did not give it away. It’s quite light, mimicking the delicate potato chips which sometimes fill it.
Thanks go to my sister Kay and her husband Greg for providing the blank.
Turned over the course of a few days…getting my seasonal feet wet on the lathe with something bigger than usual.
This bowl came from a half-log section given to me by our arborist some years ago. The wood is undoubtedly still wet although it feels and behaves as if dry — for the moment. Two hairline cracks appeared while turning. Sanding and finishing bowls remains a struggle for me — I spent some time trying to eliminate the flats in the interior curve with moderate success. Sanding marks remain. Sometimes its necessary to move on to the next thing.
I gave this bowl to a visitor from Connecticut. She’s a childhood friend of my sister who also appreciates the view and the food here.
The large bowl on the right was turned as a wedding gift for my niece. The small one in the foreground was turned quickly as an experiment in form. The small bowl on the left also represents a departure in my typical form-making. It is my first bowl which takes on a more “classical” shape, with its flared rim. All have a oil and wax finish.
A very quick turning…more an investigation and exercise than an intent to end with a useful bowl. I am not certain what use a bowl turned of cedar might be as, because of it’s strong odor, it is certainly is not appropriate for food. Left unfinished, it may some day find a place where its natural role as an insect repellant will be useful.