Highly Spalted Aspen Burl Platter (24WS8)
dimensions: 13 - 15" diameter at top, 1.5" height, 3/16" wall thickness
On display in my Hovland Shop
Contact me at Pignolet@umn.edu if interested in this bowl
Detailed Info about bowl
This platter was turned from an aspen burl that came from Hovland, Minnesota, near the shore of Lake Superior. Images of the trimmed burl (attached to my lathe) are shown. Aspen burls are very rare. I have seen only a few in living trees! Loggers tell me they see about one burl in 1000 trees. Many years I get only one aspen burl, sometimes none. This burl had a lot of decay and was covered with moss. It was large in diameter but not very deep. It probably should not have been turned, but since get only a few aspen burls each year, I decided to give it a try. Sometimes an old burl with decay has interesting spalting (dark patterns showing decay zones) and turns out beautiful. I spent two days turning this burl since the wood was unstable and required frequent stabilizing and sealing in the decayed areas, especially along the grain lines. Many of these areas required filling with dark wood powder and cyanoacrylate resin. This is a tedious process. I left the worm holes as they are! The solid unspalted areas (mostly toward the outer part of the platter) show stunning grain figuring that includes wavy grain lines, tight banded swirls, golden to brown-red colors, and feathers of flame/curl figuring (chatoyance). I call this Lake Superior banded agate figuring since it looks a lot like our local banded agates. This figuring is special and very unusual in wood. The central part of this platter is darkened by spalting and decay. This hides some of the beautiful figuring and colors of aspen burl but adds the intriguing dark patterns of spalting and decay. These dark zones and lines have their own beauty and show a lot of interesting patterns. A nearly complete bark edge frames this unusual bowl. The bowl was turned from green wood using handheld tools on a lathe, dried for several months, and sanded to 400 grit. Bowls turned from green wood always warp during drying. This gives distortions that add natural charm to a bowl. I re-turn the bottom of green turned bowls to remove warping to make sure they sit nicely. The bowl was sealed with two coats of tung oil, hand sanded after each coat. This finish is considered food safe, although the bowl is best suited for artistic display. Aspen burl is rare and difficult to turn. Very few wood turners work with aspen burl and none would tackle one with this much decay. It is my favorite wood to turn because it is always unusually beautiful (and I like a challenge). This bowl shows a lot of the beauty of aspen burl plus a snapshot of the decay process. All undried wood decays and catching this process in a bowl like this is unusual.
RETURN AND REFUND POLICY
All my bowls are can be returned for a full refund if you are unsatisfied for any reason within 60 days. You must only pay the return shipping.
Laminated Info Card
All of my bowls come with a laminated card with images of the bowl and burl, a complete description of the bowl and making process, and the artist's bio on the back side. There is no price on the card so it can be used if the bowl is given as a gift.