This large handcrafted bowl measures 10.75″ in diameter. The deep, slightly enclosed form is reminiscent of the Calabash bowls of the Hawaiian and Pacific islands. The bowl has a non-toxic, food-safe oil/wax finish. It could be used as a salad or fruit bowl, hold your popcorn on Netflix night, or just be admired as a decorative display piece. It would make a lovely gift or an objet d’art for your coffee table or bookshelf.
Any St. Joseph’s University alumni out there? This bowl is made from Toona sinensis – commonly known as Chinese Toon, Chinese Cedar, or Chinese Mahogany. The wood was salvaged from a 90 foot tall, 100+ year old specimen that had to be taken down at the Barnes Arboretum at St. Joseph’s University last fall. (Shout out to Barnes Arboretum Head Gardener Jennifer Walker and First State Woodturners for coordinating the efforts to salvage and repurpose this lovely wood!)
The grain on these Toona bowls is spectacular. I have three available at the moment, and this one in particular has a sister. You can see the pair in the last two photos below. I’d love to keep the girls together, so the set of two is available for $250, shipped.
This bowl was turned “green” – while the wood was still wet, that is – and allowed to dry naturally for a few weeks. The wood moves as it dries, so the piece has a very subtle natural shape, best observed by sighting across the rim.
The bowl was finished with four coats of hand-rubbed, food-safe, oil/wax finish, and then buffed out with a light coat of Carnauba wax. With proper care, this bowl will last for generations. (See care instructions below…)
Bowl size: 10-3/4″ diameter, 3-3/4″ high
Bowl capacity: approximately 3.5 quarts
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(click on image to view full size…)
Chinese Toon (Toona sinensis) is native to eastern and southeastern Asia. It is a deciduous tree in the mahogany family that can grow up to 65 feet tall (or in this case, 90 feet!). They are commonly used as a shade tree, specimen, or street tree.
Caring for Wooden Bowls
The food-safe finishes I use are water-resistant – not water-proof. Wash wooden bowls with mild soap and warm water. Rinse and towel dry immediately.
Wooden kitchenware is not dishwasher safe and should never be left in water to soak. Excess water for prolonged periods can cause the wood to swell and crack. Also, do not put wooden bowls in the microwave. They will super-heat, split, or even catch fire!
If the wood starts to look faded or dry, rejuvenate it with a quality butcher block / cutting board oil or conditioner, such as Howard Butcher Block Conditioner or Mahoney’s Walnut Oil. You can find these and other good choices on Amazon or at your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, Woodcraft, Walmart, etc. (A free sample is included with your purchase.)
NOTE: If your bowl sees only light use, an occasional buffing with a clean cotton cloth is all that’s needed to keep it looking great.
As noted above, this lovely tree began life before any of us were born. The prized Barnes Arboretum specimen had to be taken down due to disease and old age. Myself and other members of First State Woodturners were able to salvage sections of it last fall.
I hope you enjoy this bowl as much as I have enjoyed creating it and telling you about it. The process of turning a piece of fallen tree into a beautiful and functional bowl involves many steps and can take up to a year (the wood has to dry slowly…).
I know it takes a leap of faith when you can’t see a piece in person and hold it in your hands. All of my work is satisfaction guaranteed. If the piece is not what you were expecting, please reach out to me as soon as possible to arrange a return.
And finally, if you’re in the area (Delaware) and would like to see a piece in person, please contact me to arrange a studio visit.