Heart of Stone
2006 Size H: 3.5 in W: 2.75 in
African blackwood This piece was originally going to be "Heart of Africa", until I started to hollow it out. What I found was an internal sapwood tube extending from the small sapwood triangle near the top, right down through the base of the piece, all completely hidden by an overgrowth of black heartwood. The tube was filled with grit and stone, which blunted the hollowing tool instantly. The hollowing was a 6-hour fight and exercise in masochism. I even tried taking it off the lathe and attacking it with a ruby burr in a Foredom (killed the burr) and then a diamond ball (too slow). Finally put it back on the lathe and resorted to brute force. Did get rid of all the rocks. The sapwood triangle was incorporated into the design, and a hole immediately below it filled with blackwood dust. In accord with the title I did think of filling the bottom of the piece with cement, but decided I liked it the way it is - this irregularity is part of the history of this particular piece of wood. Who says natural edges have to be at the top only?
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