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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Whitcliffe Common is famous for it's magnificent Hornbeam trees, which produce one of the very hardest of woods - it even looks like stone!

This 9-inch bowl was made from a tree which lived it's life on the Donkey Steps on the Common and which, sadly, met its demise in the storms of 2019.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
We also have plenty of Beech trees on the Common.  This was one of the largest specimens and was a casualty of the 2017 storms.

The black marks are "spalting" which is caused by fungus developing within the fibres of the wood as it starts to decay.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
When the Beech tree (above) fell over, it also brought down its neighbour, a magnificent Oak.

This 13-inch bowl is from the Oak.

It's nice to think that these two bowls spent probably over 200 years growing alongside each other on the Common.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Yew can be the most beautiful of all woods, as this large (c.12 inch) bowl, with its spectacular figuring, shows.

This piece of wood was very kindly donated by the Acton Scott Estate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Cherry can also be be very striking.

This 10-inch bowl was made from a piece of wood given to me by a friend who lives nearby.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Look what might have been burned!  This old Walnut log was rescued from a friend's firewood pile.

Buried right in the middle of this piece was a large old blacksmith's nail - which wrecked my nice sharp chisel, but the end result was worth it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
No I hadn't been drinking!   This is what happens when you turn wet Cherry wood. 

The tree had only been cut down in the morning and the bowl was turned in the afternoon.

Not everybody likes the asymmetry of "green-turned" wood but the end results are always unique.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
This large (12-inch) natural-edged bowl is from a Thuja tree from my own garden - so definitely a Whitcliffe tree, but not quite off the Common.

Not all types of wood are very good at clinging on to their bark, but when they do, the end results can be quite satisfying.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Another good example of spalting, this time in Silver Birch.

There is a very fine line between the fungi having progressed far enough to produce the black markings, but rot not having set in.

This piece was exactly in the sweet spot.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Yet another bowl from Acton Scott Yew.  If only I could get more wood like this!