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New Colorful Aspen Burl Turned

I don't usually show aspen burl bowls during the turning process since the figuring and colors don't show so well until the final sanding/oiling step is done. My latest aspen burl showed amazing figuring and colors while still on the lathe so I got excited to show this right away. These are the bowls that keep me motivated to keep turning. Here is a shot of the top of the 15" diameter burl and a shot of the top of the bowl just after hollowing. This will show the contrast between the dull drab looking burl and the beauty that lies inside (sort of like cracking open a geode).

Both of these views are looking down on the top of the burl before and after turning. Turning aspen burl is never fast for a lot of reasons (see previous posts). The process shown here in snap shots took about 7 hours, not counting harvesting the burl. I have turned a lot of aspen burl over the years and have a very good idea about how to bring out the best. There are a lot of choices such as where in a burl will the grain figuring be best, where will there be minimal decay, where is the best position for the live bark edge. Each of these decisions requires studying and probing the burl and visualizing the bowl inside the burl. I love this process and sometimes the magic happens right away like with this burl, but more often in the final sanding/oiling step.

The following photos show some of the steps in the turning process. This bowl now needs a few months drying, sanding, and oiling. This one will be amazing.


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