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Large Spalted Birch Root Bowl (22WS12)

Large Spalted Birch Root Bowl (22WS12)

dimensions: 21 - 23" diam at top,  5.5" ht, 1/2" wall thickness

On display in my Hovland shop and available

Contact me at if interested in this bowl

  • Detailed Info about bowl

    One way to turn an unsymmetrical bowl is to use the lowest part of a tree where large roots protrud out into the ground. I cut an 8" thick slab from the bottom of an old birch tree. The slab was cut just above the ground level. This can be tough on a chain saw since there was dirt and small stones in the wood. I mounted this 23" diameter slab on my Stubby 1000 lathe for an end grain turning. The lower part of the slab had some rot. This required securing a piece of plywood for attaching a face plate to the piece (see photo). This side will be hollowed out later since it will become the top part of the bowl. The wood was spalted and punky in places so there was some tear out from the turning tools. I tried to minimize the tear out by applying thin cyanoacrylate glue to the punky areas while turning, but the wood was still very rough. I decided to treat both sides of the rough turned bowl with penetrating Boat epoxy (diluted with some acetone) to harden the wood for eventual sanding. This piece sat in my shop for over a year. To my surprise, after sanding for about 3 hours with 80 grit Merka Abranet ACE sanding disks, the wood started showing nice colors and spalting patterns. I sanded off more than ⅛ inch of wood. The epoxy helped keep the punky areas solid. After two more days of sanding to 400 grit, a beautiful smooth surface emerged. The bowl was turned using handheld tools on a lathe from wet wood, dried for several months, and sanded to 400 grit. The bowl was sealed with two coats of tung oil, hand sanded after each coat, and finished with a buffed thin coat of beeswax and walnut oil. This finish is considered food safe so this bowl can be used to display food. This bowl has beautiful colors and amazing spalting patterns. This is a very unusual bowl with a great story. It is as smooth as glass and the patterns and colors are amazing. This bowl was on display in an exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo for the past six months. You can read more about this bowl in my blog post on this web site.





    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.

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