Posted on December 27, 2008
I salvaged a tree stump of Mt Molloy Box a few years ago from a fence line that had been cleared in preparation for building a new fence. The trees that had grown up through the old fence were about 50 years old ... it's a shame really that the landowners felt the need to knock them down and couldn't just have moved the fence line a few feet either way into clear land. I retrieved a pretty sizeable stump piece which I later split in two and roughed out two bowl forms. This is the first of them that I have brought through to finishing stage.
Molloy Box is a very hard and splintery wood. The trees are generally straight and of medium height. They are prized by local farmers and graziers as fence posts and poles, but are used for little else other than, perhaps, firewood.
To me, this box wood is extremely pretty. It's often highly figured and exhibits a wonderful range of color. It's reasonably difficult to work with due to it's hardness and it surface cracks readily during drying.
My original shaping of this bowl was much larger ... making use of the whole blank. However, during the couple of years that it's been drying, I've re-shaped it several times.
The shape is very 'organic' and interesting. The appearance of the piece changes dramatically when viewed from different positions, making this a great centerpiece candidate. The final finish is going to bring a lot of color and depth out of the wood. There are some really nice 'flame' sections that are going to be supurb.
I'm really looking forward to seeing a finish on this piece.
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