turned cherry wood bowl

Knotted Cherry Bowl

De gustabus non disputandem est. This is Latin for in matters of taste there is no dispute. Jack Sprat could eat no fat and his wife could eat no lean.

In the past I would have discarded this cherry bowl from doing shows. I have learned that what I had considered a defect is highly prized by some. One woman told me the rougher it was the more she liked it. She proceeded to buy a bowl that I had been embarrassed to put out.

From that experience I learned not to be so judgmental. Let the piece speak for itself. After all, what is imperfect about a tree producing a limb so that it could capture more sunlight. Is that structure any less perfect than the monotonous straight grain from the center of the tree?

New adhesives have been a boon. Cyanoacrylate glue, also called super glue, is very thin and will penetrate wood defects such as knots and make them stable. Then when you turn the piece, the knot stays firmly in place instead of flying through the air and leaving a large void. It also has the advantage of drying almost instantly.

In earlier times this piece of cherry wood would have been relegated to the fireplace or wood stove due to the imperfection of the large knot. Times have changed and so have tastes. Wood is more scarce and cherry is not to be lightly discarded. Further, the reaction wood around the knots add a visual appeal lacking in monotonously straight grained pieces of the same species.

So here you get not only the rich color of cherry but you get visual appeal and the chance to see how nature strengthens the wood around a limb to make it strong. The wood cells knitting in all directions make an interesting visual effect.