A big ash bowl

Last summer, I took down a dead green ash tree in the woodlot on my family’s farm. The tree was in the neighborhood of 100 years old, but during an extended wet cycle about 10 years ago, it died when the water table rose too high and drowned the roots. Most of it was cut and split for firewood, but I saved the larger crotch pieces because the figuring in ash crotch is phenomenally vivid. I had sliced a slab off the side of one of the crotch pieces, and was going to just use it for firewood, but something stayed my hand, and a couple of days ago, I decided to cut a bowl blank from it and see what came of it.

It was the largest diameter blank I have yet attempted, and it was rather lopsided when I started, so I had to take it slow until things were balanced better. Here’s a look at the bottom after I had it shaped and sanded.

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And the inside (plus some detail of the bark rim):

Here it is after a couple coats of Danish oil, which brings out the grail beautifully:

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Finished dimensions: 14 1/4″ long, 12 1/2″ wide, and 3 1/2″ high at the highest point.

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