Using wood features

Part of the design of any turned wood piece is the wood, itself. The grain and patterns, sapwood (the light part of the wood) and heartwood (the darker part) are as important to the overall design as the shape and size of the piece. I don’t always know what features are going to “pop” when I cut into the wood, but I try to have a general idea.


My father-in-law recently had to cut down a cherry tree that was leaning precariously in his back yard. Needless to say, I was there to claim that wood as soon as it came down. The 6 3/4 inch wide, 4 1/2 inch tall hollow form vessel above was made from that tree. As you can see, I used the sapwood as a feature of the piece, giving it a two-toned appearance. I’m asking $135 for this piece.


This 8 inch tall vessel, also cherry – one of my favorite woods to turn – has the sapwood as a side feature. This vessel is also listed for $135 .


A couple of years ago, my niece requested a wooden bangle bracelet, and my daughters immediately asked for them, too. The bracelet above is oak, with a spalt feature at the front. The one below is cherry sapwood and heartwood. I sell bracelets for $20 each. My daughters like them in light and dark woods to wear with different outfits.


And, finally, the next photo is a little cherry vessel, only about 3 inches tall and 3 1/2 wide that I think shows some of the best of the design wood can bring to a piece. It has sapwood, heartwood and “flames” and the color gets richer and deeper as it ages. This piece isn’t for sale – my wife claimed it as soon as she saw it. As you browse my pages, notice the other features I’ve brought out in the pieces, such as spalts, “quilts,” crotch wood and knots.



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