Natural Edge Ash Bowl
Ash is a wood that I dearly love to turn. It has such a clean look to it. This is the ash tree given to me by a very nice couple who live near Northfield, VT. We became acquainted when they contacted my wood turning club about a butternut tree they wanted to give to someone who would make good use of the wood. You can see one of the butternut hollow forms I made from that wood in the Hollow Forms section of this site using this link.
While I was there investigating the butternut, which had not yet been cut down, they mentioned that there was a fallen ash tree at the edge of the meadow above the house. When I said that I loved ash they said I was welcome to it. I am so appreciative that people like this are happy to give wood like this away rather than to see it go to waste. Now this ash will have a second life in the wooden objects made from it which could last longer than the life of the ash tree which had fallen in a storm.
In the the picture above and below, on the right side of the bowl, you can see that the grain seems to have ripples in it. This was a tree that leaned badly to get to sunlight at the edge of the meadow. This is why it eventually fell of its own weight.
To counteract the force of gravity wood builds up on the underside of the trunk to support the weight of the wood. It is like a buttress to reinforce the trunk. You will notice that the center ring of the log is way off center near the bottom of the picture below. If you were to look at a cross section of the log you would see the center of the heart way off to one side of the log.
Wood which is subjected to major compressive forces over long periods of time develops wood cells which are curved by the compression instead of growing straight. Light reflected off of those curvy wood cells give the appearance of light and dark bands. You often see this in trees around the trunk of the tree. Some trees have a gene which makes all of the wood cells curvy. You may be familiar with this in curly, tiger, and birds-eye maple but it can be seen in other species as well. For the wood turner it adds visual interest to the piece and is indicative of the intelligence of nature.