I had a plan in my mind for a square tapering shrink pot. As I smacked the froe and watched the waste from the first side fall away, I realized this log had other plans. This cherry tree had grown with a spiraling grain, now revealed in each of the four newly-split winding surfaces.
The opening lines of a poem I had read and copied into my sketchbook came to mind:
What has bent you,
Warped and twisted you,
Torn and crippled you?
What has embittered you,
O lonely tree?
— from The Pine at Timberline by Harriet Monroe
Here was an ideal lettering opportunity.
I followed the grain and carved a tapering, twisting, square shrink pot, leaving bold gouge marks on the interior, and a more subtle texture on the outside. The first two lines of the poem were carved, in part, near the edge of each side.
The square opening shrinks around the bottom just as it does with a circular form:
6 1/2 inches high and 4 1/4 inches square at the base, cherry.
Here are a couple more recently completed shrink pots; both in aspen, but in very different styles: