Carved Alaskan Birch Heartwood

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Project by Stonekettle posted 08-15-2010 09:06 PM 2504 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Unlike most turners, I tend to cut my green blanks from the heart of the log rather than splitting the wood into two pieces. I like the heartwood, or brown heart, that most turners avoid, and in fact I specifically look for trees with large heartwood rosettes. This bowl is a good example of why.

This blank was cut from the center a large birch trunk. It was turned green to finish, wrapped in brown paper bags and dried for 6 months. Once dry, I relief carved the heartwood rosettes to emphasize the grain and growth lines, and then carved the filigree (the holes).

The bowl is about 12” in diameter and finished in Danish oil.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

8 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4514 days

#1 posted 08-15-2010 10:01 PM

You’ve shared with us recently, many lovely turnings. Thanks, they are all wonderful

View Gnome's profile


93 posts in 4408 days

#2 posted 08-15-2010 11:17 PM

Son-of-a-Gun. That is so imaginative and interesting to look at. Like something out of a fairy tale. A new twist and an absolutely, loverly lacy bowl.

-- Gnettie the Gnome

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4516 days

#3 posted 08-16-2010 01:15 AM

I think you are extremely talented and you have great vision. Wonderful job and wonderful piece of wood.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 5025 days

#4 posted 08-16-2010 04:02 AM

Another piece of beautiful art! WOW!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 4623 days

#5 posted 08-16-2010 06:35 AM

Yes, I think you have a very keen eye for uniqueness!


View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4929 days

#6 posted 08-16-2010 07:21 AM

Fantastic bowl. Your turnings/carvings are all great. Love the combo of techniques.

I also like to turn trough the heart wood. The grain gets VERY interesting that way.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View TJ65's profile


1446 posts in 4548 days

#7 posted 08-16-2010 08:01 AM

Beautiful- you are a real artist.
You must let your artistic talent guide you on some of these projects, rather than have a plan of what to do. It is not just woodworking talent on show here!

-- Theresa,

View Stonekettle's profile


135 posts in 4403 days

#8 posted 08-16-2010 04:07 PM

Theresa, about 90% of the time, I have a vague idea of what I want, but I mostly just follow the wood – and I’m as surprised as anybody what comes out.

And about 10% of the time, I have a very specific idea in mind and stick to that plan.

-- Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station

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