Juniper Bowl

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Project by TZH posted 11-03-2020 02:49 PM 972 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Started out like this:

Went through a series of different carving shaping tools to get to this:

And, finally, to get to this:

The measurements are approximate:

Length = 18 inches
Width = 12 inches
Height on the highest side = 6 inches

It was finished using a new process (new to me, at least) to try and preserve the red of the heart wood (some finishes turn it brown). The first step was to seal the grain by using Minwax wood preparation formula (basically a sanding sealer) followed by multiple coats of Minwax hand rubbed gloss varnish, and ending up by applying a coat of Johnson Furniture Wax/Polish.

Juniper is still my favorite wood to work with not only because it’s relatively soft, but also because of the color striations of red heartwood combined with the whitish/ yellowish sapwood. Truly beautiful wood all the way around.

Comments/feedback are welcome.


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

12 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


2158 posts in 554 days

#1 posted 11-03-2020 03:24 PM

Very nice, love the colors. Not much juniper here in souyh Georgia.

-- Ron

View pottz's profile


20570 posts in 2222 days

#2 posted 11-03-2020 03:40 PM

a beautiful sculptural the look of juniper,i have a lamp made from it.nice work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View swirt's profile


6618 posts in 4210 days

#3 posted 11-03-2020 04:13 PM

Very nice. It looks a lot like red cedar. My neighbor ripped out a bunch of juniper bushes last week. Now I wish I grabbed some of it.

-- Galootish log blog,

View splintergroup's profile


5843 posts in 2460 days

#4 posted 11-03-2020 05:59 PM

That is quite a colorful bowl!
The species of juniper here in NM doesn’t have the red colors, just the shades of brown from creme to tan. Very slow growing. The juniper you have reminds me of the eastern red cedar beams I have stashed.

Great organic shape!

View RocDoc's profile


62 posts in 1368 days

#5 posted 11-08-2020 09:17 PM

Way cool! Worth the effort.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8409 posts in 1820 days

#6 posted 11-09-2020 01:12 PM

I’ve got a branch from one of our junipers that we “limbed up” that I need to cut into soon. If I find the red streaks like that, I’ll be very happily surprised, and hope I can show off the wood as well as you did. I suspect, as splint says, the juniper here in NM will be a lot less exciting.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile


5843 posts in 2460 days

#7 posted 11-09-2020 04:20 PM

This is what us locals get to work with in NM

Part of a clock face, book matched. Tight grain but nary a trace of reds

View TZH's profile


619 posts in 4378 days

#8 posted 11-09-2020 06:44 PM

Dave Polaschek and splintergroup, I did some research, and Rocky Mountain Juniper is native to some parts of Northern New Mexico . I don’t know if the juniper you’re talking about comes from that area, but if it doesn’t, come on up to Colorado because there’s a ton of it around Canon City and Salida. Where I live in Colorado, there’s not as much, but there’s some if I’m lucky enough to find it.


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View Bstrom's profile


360 posts in 411 days

#9 posted 11-09-2020 07:49 PM

Appreciate your notes on finishing – I’ve got some Cedar I want to retain the color of when it’s used – glad to know sealer will hold color over time. Oh, very pretty bowl too!

-- Bstrom

View splintergroup's profile


5843 posts in 2460 days

#10 posted 11-09-2020 11:11 PM

Interesting link TZH.

It must be a close cousin of what I get

These grow from about 3000’ – 6000’+, almost exclusively in open, flat areas. I believe the reference you provided is what I see at higher elevations and tends to be more “tree” shaped and taller.

View TZH's profile


619 posts in 4378 days

#11 posted 11-10-2020 02:08 PM

splintergroup, I’d say it was, indeed, a close cousin. The juniper I saw around Canon City and Salida is similar in size and shape to the one in your photo. Some of that stuff is very twisted and gnarly, and that’s the ‘artisan’ kind of wood the BLM and NFS give special permits out for harvesting. I haven’t yet done that, but may need to in the not too distant future, The juniper around where I live is more conical usually and does grow fairly tall in maturity, but it’s not something that is plentiful around here unless a homeowner is kind enough to let me forage for dead stuff on their property….not something that happens too often.


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View TZH's profile


619 posts in 4378 days

#12 posted 11-10-2020 02:10 PM

Bstrom, thanks. Just so you know, the sealer holds the red to begin with. Over time, the red will degrade into a brownish red especially if exposed to UV sunlight. I don’t know of any method for finishing that will prevent that from happening, but it sure is nice to start with!


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

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