Chinaberry Live Edge Vase

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Project by MrWolfe posted 05-21-2022 04:27 AM 593 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a very quick and simple vase.
By quick I mean that it was started and completed in a few hours. That is what I enjoy about turning. There are some projects (hollowforms/urns) that aren’t so quick. Aside from seasoning the wood I will turn them and then let them move (wood moves). Once its stablized through moisture content loss then I will go back and true them up and add the other components. This could be weeks or months (or longer I’ve heard).

This vase is simple because it is once turned and I know it will move. I will not re-turn it to true up the exterior or the opening. Quick and easy! The wavey appearance of the vase is due to the chatoyance of the crazy grain. It is very smooth and not rippled to the touch.

I used a piece of chinaberry that was a crotch were the main trunk branched out into 4 smaller branches. The wild grain really shows this. The original blank was much larger and I hoped to get a larger vessel. The areas where the branches grew together were still separated from each other by the bark so I was only able to use a small portion of the blank.

This piece was a joy to turn but I decided to use a shellac sanding sealer because of the crazy end grain. This inadvertantly filled the end grain pores with a shellac and dust slurry that caused a blackish tint. I spent 30 minutes sanding those areas with a fine sanding mop to remove the stain. I’m fairly happy with the final finish.

I’ve been moving away from wipe on finishes and even shellac and sealers because the Beall buffing system really is a great finish in itself. The fiasco with the shellac sealer was a lesson in what not to do so I won’t be making that mistake again on end grain in a face grain piece. I did use Howard’s Feed and Wax after the buff with the white diamond compound. I really like the way the orange oil in it makes the grain pop. That was followed by buffing with carnauba wax.

The Chinaberry Live Edge Vase is 6 1/2” tall x 4” wide. It is very thin walled at just under 3/32’s of an inch.

Thanks for looking and C & C’s are welcome.

Here are a couple more pics of the Chinaberry Live Edge Vase.

17 comments so far

View pottz's profile


26546 posts in 2476 days

#1 posted 05-21-2022 04:34 AM

freakin amazing my friend ! you always teach and or inspire me.

-- 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 Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

536 posts in 4039 days

#2 posted 05-21-2022 09:55 AM

Absolutely beautiful….love the wavy grain!

View Eric's profile


5738 posts in 1365 days

#3 posted 05-21-2022 10:05 AM

That is a wonderful turning, I like the grains it is showing and the darker upper lip. Well done and thanks for sharing.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View VanDesignWoodworkin's profile


1080 posts in 291 days

#4 posted 05-21-2022 12:09 PM

Beautiful, my friend!

-- "What do you mean, 'Give me some wild cherry gall?' What do you think, this stuff grows on trees or something?"

View leafherder's profile


2019 posts in 3444 days

#5 posted 05-21-2022 12:19 PM

Congratulations. You said in a previous post that you admired the pottery work of George Orr and you are well on your way to replicating that in wood. Excellent use of grain patterns to cause the illusion of rippling – shades of Surrealism and Op Art. I like the way the piece looks different from every angle. Keep up the good work

-- Leafherder

View Brodan's profile


503 posts in 2794 days

#6 posted 05-21-2022 12:46 PM

Wow. That’s extraordinarily beautiful.

-- Dan, TN

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


3290 posts in 1039 days

#7 posted 05-21-2022 12:52 PM

gorgeous colors, amazing detail.

-- WWBBJ: the first to compare a woman´s cheek to a rose was a poet. The second, an idiot. Dali

View doubleDD's profile


11377 posts in 3535 days

#8 posted 05-21-2022 01:28 PM

Nice vase. If there were a handle on it it would make the perfect juice pitcher. Love all the swirl in the grain.

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

View splintergroup's profile


7118 posts in 2714 days

#9 posted 05-21-2022 02:19 PM

Why make one when you could just buy it from Exork1962???? 8^)

At first look I thought those folds were real! At < 1/8” that has to be light as a feather.
Everything is spot on, color, shape, finish. A trifecta!

View BB1's profile


3305 posts in 2340 days

#10 posted 05-21-2022 02:19 PM

Beautifully done. Love it!!

View John's profile


2192 posts in 2762 days

#11 posted 05-21-2022 03:40 PM

That’s amazing grain in the vase, nice shape too, love it!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View MrWolfe's profile


1972 posts in 1615 days

#12 posted 05-21-2022 04:41 PM

Hello Everyone!
Thanks for all the great comments.
I have a few more pieces of the Chinaberry. I knew the crotch piece had wild grain so I hope some of the other pieces have that grain. Even if they don’t, I hope they have the same great coloration.

Thanks my friend! What a great compliment. We all learn from each other.

Thank you. I loved the grain too. I could tell immediately the grain would be wild.

I love the color around the lip too. It was very light at first but it is a great silver and pewter color now.

Thanks!!! I had fun with this one.

Thank you! This one has the illusion of folds like Orr’s work but soon I’ll do something that has carving inspired by his work. The chatoyance really enhances that look in this piece.

“Wow” is an excellent compliment and I am happy to get that response.
Thank you Sir.

Thank you! Sometimes the color and grain of the wood really makes the piece. I think that happened this time.

That’s how I have described it to other people. It reminds me of a pitcher too.
Thanks for the comment!

I’d buy Chinaberry blanks from Extort1962 all day long >=P
Thank you. Yes this one really came together.

I love this one too but I say that about all of them (well most of them).

Thank you. Along with the shape I really took time to reposition the blank to get a good orientation for the live edge rim. That is kind of a first for me. Thanks again.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10487 posts in 2074 days

#13 posted 05-22-2022 03:30 AM

Nice work, Jon. It’s a pretty one, and good job turning it that thin without some sort of incident.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Buckshop's profile


153 posts in 489 days

#14 posted 05-23-2022 01:51 AM

Image number two…wow!! Thanks for sharing!

-- Ben

View MrWolfe's profile


1972 posts in 1615 days

#15 posted 05-23-2022 05:16 AM

Thanks Dave~
I wish I had a lot more of this Chinaberry. Its beautiful. Its still green so I know it will warp and move and the thin walls will probably warp more than other pieces I’ve turned.

Thanks! Number 1, 2 and 3 are my favorites. 1 and 3 really show off the chatoyance of the wood.
Thank you.

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