Heirloom Spalted Copper Beech Bowl #1 Turned From a Crotch at 7 Intersection Points

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 02-06-2013 03:16 AM 1490 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A beech bowl – this project is rather special as it is now one of our family heirlooms in memory of my grandmother, Mildred Saperstein who passed away last year; her home was her treasure and this material came from a tree that grew from a sapling over four decades that she called this house a home.

This was still a firewood rescue, the beech tree fell during Super Storm Sandy, as we were preparing the house for sale. I mentioned to my father that I wanted the tree, and my father decided to take the obscure looking chunk that became this bowl home along with the trunk.

The turning project was completed by fellow craftsman Michael Pietras, as he’s a lot better with a lathe than I am and he happened to catch notice of this chunk one morning and decide to cut into it. As soon as he began to bandsaw it down to a turning blank it was obvious we hit paydirt.

This one section shows grain lines that are curly, quarter sawn, end, bias, crotch, straight, and face. Along with this abnormality this is a rare find of beach with an assortment of mineral stains and spalting.

Turning wet allowed us to achieve thin flexible wall, then allowing a “quick” dry it warped into whatever shape it desired to achieve. The shape became distorted, and the surface rippled. A single butterfly was inserted to stabilize one large crack.

The bowl is finished with West Systems Epoxy and then final coats with Waterlox Tung Oil. It is stable and waterproof, though given we choose not to completely fill the cracks it will not hold liquid.

This is yet another reminder – never just toss wood aside. At least take a few samples of a fallen tree to your bandsaw and see what’s inside!

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

8 comments so far

View unrested001's profile


76 posts in 3272 days

#1 posted 02-06-2013 03:24 AM

Great heirloom piece your grandmom would be proud.

-- I make lots of dust, everything else is just a byproduct of the dust making process!...Frank,NJ

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4269 days

#2 posted 02-06-2013 03:29 AM

pay dirt, yes sir…that is a gorgeous piece of wood, and a family heirloom is born, grandma would be proud of her grandson for getting this, but i dont think she would be surprised, as im sure she knows your talents very well, what a beautiful piece eric…cherish it…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View hunter71's profile


3541 posts in 4153 days

#3 posted 02-06-2013 11:06 AM

Great bowl, a memory to cherish.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View dee2's profile


277 posts in 3302 days

#4 posted 02-06-2013 03:45 PM

Gorgeous bowl, something to treasure for sure.
Thanks for sharing

-- Dee2, OH Aromatherapy....fresh cut wood!!

View dynadeuce's profile


49 posts in 3610 days

#5 posted 02-07-2013 02:05 AM

nice, I have a woodturning Uncle that made quite a few heirloom pieces from Grandmas plum tree, (his mother)

-- dynadeuce-- What will your legacy be?

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3142 days

#6 posted 02-07-2013 03:07 PM

An art piece and a great tribute to Grandma. Great story and thanks for the great reminder about wood.

View leafherder's profile


1973 posts in 2918 days

#7 posted 02-07-2013 11:27 PM

Beautiful bowl, beautiful story. I suggest you write down all the details on a card and attach it to the bottom of the bowl. Your children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren will thank you for it.

-- Leafherder

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4214 days

#8 posted 03-30-2013 04:08 AM

We’ll burn the info into the bottom of the bowl – not sure who will end up with it one day but the story is published and absorbed into the internet archives! – this is bowl #3 in the series, #2 is almost done.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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