The batch of decorative wooden cones that I started a few days ago is nearly finished. I used pear, spalted hornbeam and burr acacia. They just need one more coat of finishing oil, and already they are looking pretty good. The burr acacia is from my rapidly diminishing stock that I got from a tree surgeon many years ago, and is one of my favorite timbers. It has a dark gold colour and very highly figured grain, and is nice to turn – crisp, but not too hard. It is almost free of the cracks and fissures that are very common in most burr timber. Over the years I have made numerous turnings from it, including small bowls and wooden mice. There are still scraps of it scattered through my wood pile, but I wish I had more!
Also today, I started the final turning of some pearwood bowls. This is the pearwood that a customer brought to me for this purpose months ago. It came from a tree that had to be taken down in his garden. He has already bought some bowls and wooden pears made from the tree, and now wants more bowls to give as gifts. Pear wood, like other fruit woods, normally turns very well with the gouge, though it does distort and sometimes crack while drying. These new bowls were roughed out last winter and are now properly seasoned.