Ficus Bowl

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 11-13-2019 08:06 AM 431 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the Ficus I rough turned last March and set aside for Future Mark to deal with the cracks. I think I have one more cut of Ficus left.

Speaking of wood I’ve run out of: There’s been this enormous Jacaranda around the corner for as long as I can remember. I’ve lived in this house, but for a couple of short interludes, for about forty-one years. Last week, I espied evidence that someone had been cutting on it. I paid attention. (You know how fond I am of Jacaranda.) So, yesterday, I go around the corner to fetch VOD’s newspaper, and I see the culprit, in the act. I drive by, get home and park the money-maker and grab my gloves and get in my pickup and drive over there. I park the buggy, get out, and put my gloves on. I step over and begin to survey the pickin’s.

“We’re keeping that,” yells the guy up the tree.

“What? says I.

“We’re keeping that. We sell it.”

“All of it?

“Yeah. What do you want it for?

“I make stuff out of wood. That’s beautiful wood you’re cutting.”

:What do you make?”

“I turn it on the lathe, mostly.”

“So, what? You just want a couple of little pieces?”

“May I have some?”

“Yeah. A little.”

Get a load of this cat. He thinks because he’s being paid (way too much, no doubt) to cut down a tree, he owns the wood. Bastard.

Every other time I’ve caught people cutting down, or trimming trees, they’ve been more than happy to let me lighten the haul-away portion of their program. So much so, that, once, I even got the guy on the skip loader to help me get a couple of big logs (Eucalyptus) home. Not this guy. This guy OWNS all that gorgeous Jacaranda. And, for what? To sell it. And, for what? Firewood, no doubt. Big, fat turd.

I wound up with a couple of little three-inch sticks that I may, one day, make goblets from. What a waste. It was a huge tree, with a big, fat trunk and big, fat branches. And now it’s gone. Big, fat bastard. I hope he blows his big, fat back out moving all that wood.

Back to the Ficus Bowl, the star of the show.

I’m pleased with how this came out. And, again, if any of you knows where I put my burnishing wires, please to be forthcoming with that information. That line near the bottom really wanted to be burned, and I have no other suitable device for the burning. I’m only half kidding about one of you knowing something. I may well have mentioned, in some previous project or blog post (you know how I prattle on), that I had to move my burning wires to get them out of the way, or something. You know? Someplace where I wouldn’t forget where they are?

And, no. The spot of resin in the bottom is not there because I blew out the bottom. I did not blow out the bottom of this bowl.

I had to do something with the resin, so I poured it in the rough-turned bowl that I set aside in March, not knowing, at the time, that I’d be finishing it today.

For the finish on this, I sanded through the grits, and all the way through the micromesh. Then, I hit it with Shine Juice. Then, I topped that with a couple coats of straight shellac, I then went over that with YG, and finished with a few coats of HS.

While I was turning away the resin in the bottom with a carbide tool, hanging way too far over the rest, the tool dug in and threw the back of my knuckles against the spinning, very sharp, inner edge of the rim. There was blood. Nothing to write home about. That’s why God made Band-aids, right? So we could keep the blood off the wood.

Oh. There’s more.

Note the signature. It’s purple. It’s purple Sharpie in a signature made with a rotary tool. I need a new woodbuning pen. Or, a brand. (They’re so expensive.)

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

19 comments so far

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


539 posts in 109 days

#1 posted 11-13-2019 10:39 AM

A beautiful work, but I think I like your sense of humor more!

As far as that “brand” youre in need of, you could check out this guy at:
He is very good, not so expensive, but he is in the Netherlands; and if you wanted the brand to be electric, he can only supply european style plugs.

I have no affiliation with this guy other than he is going to make a brand for me.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: It is wiser to find out, than to suppose (S. Clemens)

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2675 posts in 1625 days

#2 posted 11-13-2019 11:13 AM

Thanks, Brian. But I want a brand with my own signature, and they don’t come cheap, anywhere. For a torch-heated, custom brand, the prices seem about like what I’ve seen.

-- Mark

View leafherder's profile


1871 posts in 2514 days

#3 posted 11-13-2019 12:12 PM

Another beautiful bowl. I’m really liking the colored resin.
I’ll send a message later about the Jacaranda Pirates and the brand, but right now I must go bundle up to go to work (single digit temperatures here this morning – not used to that in November – Climate Change is real!)

-- Leafherder

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3667 days

#4 posted 11-13-2019 12:46 PM

Great Bowl, Mark. how so you really feel about that guy wasting all the Jacaranda ? You should have told him you needed some big logs to spit for firewood and see what he said to that? Maybe he does not know the value of it and a pack of fire wood is cheap. I had a guy spitting firewood in Washington state give me a big alder log off his pile.

cheers,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you made my day!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile


8803 posts in 2605 days

#5 posted 11-13-2019 01:44 PM

Nice bowl Mark. The pour of resin in the bottom looks cool. Great idea.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View pottz's profile


7034 posts in 1546 days

#6 posted 11-13-2019 03:27 PM

sweet buddy,nice fix with the resin.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View lew's profile


12899 posts in 4317 days

#7 posted 11-13-2019 03:30 PM

I really like that shape! Beautiful color, too.

We had a huge elm taken down. Took 2 guy, 2 day. They removed the wood. Left me what I wanted (what Mimi allowed me to keep). Charged $700.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Ivan's profile


15286 posts in 3429 days

#8 posted 11-13-2019 04:01 PM

Beautifull smooth surface…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Peteybadboy's profile


1351 posts in 2511 days

#9 posted 11-13-2019 08:38 PM

Nice blow. I too like the shape and resin fix for the cracks. I would have asked the neighbor for some of the wood. Skip the middle man.

-- Petey

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6968 posts in 3915 days

#10 posted 11-14-2019 03:34 AM

Oh wow! that is an awesome piece! Having a crack in it was a plus! Love the blue resin!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View BobWemm's profile


2719 posts in 2488 days

#11 posted 11-14-2019 09:08 AM

That is really nice Mark, I love the blue.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4413 days

#12 posted 11-14-2019 09:02 PM

Great job on the ficus Mark & a good patchup with the coloured fill.
Is ficus a bit prone to cracking?.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2675 posts in 1625 days

#13 posted 11-14-2019 09:51 PM

Yes, Tony, it is. It’s the camel of the arboreal community. It’s full of water, when first cut. So, naturally, when the water evaporates, the wood moves a lot. I brought that stuff home, a few years ago, when it was fresh cut. After several months, it had shrunk so much that the bark simply popped off. I have very little, of any, of it left.

-- Mark

View Grumpy's profile


25847 posts in 4413 days

#14 posted 11-15-2019 11:18 PM

Mark, that wood sure is a challenge.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View mafe's profile


12168 posts in 3651 days

#15 posted 11-17-2019 10:45 AM

Reqally fine work Mark, amazing finish.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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