White Cedar Burl with Chatoyance
I recently turned a white cedar burl that came from the Lake Superior area. The burl is shown as the first image in the gallery below. It is about a foot in diameter and nicely shaped. I secured it to my lathe using a face plate attached to the top rounded part of the burl as shown. The faceplate is also attached to the headstock of the lathe so the top of the bowl will come from the rounded part of the burl. I decided to curve the top of the bowl slightly inward since the bowl was telling me this was the way to best show its beauty. Burls seldom give poor instructions but the turner must listen carefully. I think of myself as an alchemist when I transform a burl into a bowl. Cedar is a soft wood so the turning/carving goes quickly, but the softness also makes it difficult to get clean cuts. There is always some end-grain tear out. This especially occurs along the areas of curl (chatoyance). This tear out can be minimized by using sharp tools and good turning technique. Nevertheless, there will always be some rough areas which require extra sanding. The gallery below shows images of the finished bowl. The wood has beautiful chatoyance and looks like a star sapphire. You never know what lies inside of a burl and one's like this provide lots of motivation to turn the next burl. This bowl is 10" in diameter, 5" high, and ⅜" in wall thickness.