16.5" Cherry Centre Piece

16.5" Cherry Centre Piece


This huge Cherry Centre Piece is formed from the very bottom slice of the trunk, just as it bifurcates into root structures. The large split-like structures in the bottom of this piece were full of very fine “root hair”, which is similar to soft wire wool and they mark the transition from trunk to root. The curving growth rings attest to this, as they near the wide splits the line of growth curves forming the outer surface of the root. This pattern is in contrast to the cracks, which can be seen throughout the piece, where formerly continuous line of the growth rings are pulled apart by the shrinking wood as it dries.

The slice of trunk sat in a neighbour’s garage for maybe 10 years, before it came into my possession. I worked this elegant form for many weeks, coaxing its outer curves into place, then following the line with the inner surface form, only to find that the root structures needed to be emptied and filled with resin in order to stop the piece splitting apart as it rotated on the lathe.

Over the coming weeks I filled more and more cracks with clear resin, partly to hold it together, partly to fill sharp, open splits around the rim and then the give the piece a greater sense of coherence.

The end result is a piece that never fails to draw attention and become the focus of conversation.

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