Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is a non-native and invasive shrubby tree in North Dakota, and it’s making a nuisance of itself in the woodlot at my family’s farm. This bowl came from a sizable crotch piece that I cut and turned last fall, and finally sanded and finished last week. The wood is lovely, but it has a tendency to crack badly as it dries; this piece was no exception, and I had to fill several cracks with cyanoacrylate glue and sawdust.
Caragana is a shub native to Mongolia and Siberia that was introduced to the United States in the 1700s as an ornamental. It’s common in the upper Great Plains. The wood is beautiful, but it never grows very large. This sphere is barely over 2 inches in diameter, and the branch it came from was about 2 1/4 inches.
This was an ugly looking offcut of boxelder that I knew had some real potential, and now that it’s finished, I can’t pick my favorite side. The wood came from the North Dakota farmstead established by my grandparents, Anton and Petrea Jacobsen.
5 inches x 5 inches. Homemade friction polish finish (50/50 shellac and boiled linseed oil blend).
This is my first attempt at sphere turning. The basic concept is simple: Turn a rough sphere between centers, then rotate it 90 degrees and turn off the high spots, then rotate it 90 degrees again and turn off the high spots. But it does take a bit of finesse to make sure you get it properly centered each time.
I’m pretty happy with this one; the way the figuring in this green ash shifts in the light is fascinating.