Here are the two bowls I made from the American Chestnut I started with in a post in June. The one on the left is the one I highlighted through the series of posts, so I’ll start with a few shots of that one.
The pith-down orientation results in a growth ring pattern roughly parallel to the arch of the handles and in harmony with the upswept rim of the bowl. The effect is pretty pronounced given the color variations in this piece of chestnut.
Same with the concentric oval pattern in the hollow.
Here’s an overhead shot of that. Those color variations were relatively subtle until the oil hit the wood, then the chestnut really started to speak up.
The shot above shows the various facets of the exterior surface before oiling.
Once the oil hit, I decided to leave the character of the wood speak for itself rather than do any additional decorative carving on that upper side panel. Might have been a bit like writing a letter onto a sheet of the morning newspaper.
The design for the second chestnut bowl is mainly a result of trying to make the most of the given blank. The log had some defects that led me to this broad, relatively shallow, more-rectangular bowl. The widely spaced growth rings and the pith-up orientation created a sort of mottled pattern in the hollow. I ran the gouge cuts with the grain from handle to handle.
On the exterior, the large foot is a reflection of the broad shallowly-sloped bowl hollow.
I had some fun with bold crisp paring cuts with a 8 gouge.
This stand of majestic American chestnut trees escaped the blight for well over a century, but it found them eventually. The bowls are now out of my hands and will soon be with some folks who were part of the team that assured these trees will have a second life.