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Project Information

My wife and I took a trip to Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA, in April 2022. On all of our travels we like to visit architectural salvage places to look for interesting wood. On this trip we visited "Re:purpose Savannah" (https://www.repurposesavannah.org). It is a women-run nonprofit that dismantles old buildings and salvages old growth trees that have come down, then provides those materials to artists and builders while preserving the history and provenance of their source.

The director, Mae Bowley, showed us the last board from a branch of a famous tree (the last photo shows me, Mae, and the board). The tree is on the "avenue of oaks" which were planted on the Wormsloe Plantation in the late 1800's. Wormsloe is now a Georgia State Historic Site, so these trees are protected, carefully maintained, and can't be cut down. However, a storm broke a large branch off of tree #238 (see 5th photo) and Re:purpose Savannah was called to salvage it. They slabbed the branch, which was as big as many whole trees, and had this last piece still unsold when I got there.

Sadly, I couldn't take the whole board with me on the plane back to California, so they cut about a foot off of each end for me. I made this bowl from the bottom end of the board, as seen in the last photo. The piece from the top of the board I made into a bowl for Mae (see previous project) to thank her for her hospitality to us and for her passionate energy to preserve Georgia's history and support women in the construction and woodworking trades.

This piece had numerous cracks that I filled with a combination of epoxy and unsanded black grout (grout won't bleed into nearby wood fibers like dye's can). Then top-coated with a several coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal. I also took a corner offcut and made it into a stand for this bowl, which now sits on my mantel.

Gallery

Comments

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Nice job, cool story and I like the way you displayed it. I have a question on how you signed this piece. It can't be a stamp because the info is so precise, and it's not perfect enough to be a laser engraving. I can't figure it out.
 

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I use Powerpoint to layout what I want, print it out, trace it onto the piece using carbon paper, then burn it in.
 

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10,634 Posts
I love turning live oak. When you find one with some gnarly grain, you can get some really interesting pieces like this one. Having it from an interesting source makes it even better.

Personally, I would have wrapped the entire piece in bubble wrap and tape and checked it on the plane as luggage. :)
 
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