Posted on June 3, 2009
Actually, 'spalted' is a bit of a gross understatement! I salvaged a back-yard blackbean tree a few years ago from a friend's house. Due to 'circumstances', unfortunately, I was never able to store the wood properly and after a couple years the outer sapwood was riddled by lyctus borers ... very prominent here in the tropics. Once the borers had made numerous passageways into the outer part of the wood, freshwater ingress resulted in a pretty decent case of spalting.
Upon realising the extent of the damage, I was pretty heartbroken ... and dutifully left the whole mess for another couple years! Finally, I needed the storage space and set to work with the chainsaw reducing the pile of wood to burnable sized chunks, and salvaging whatever heartwood I could. After I'd destroyed about half the pile, I thought "hey, what if I can actually do something with this stuff" ... thinking outside the box here ... because the combination of severe borer attack and advanced spalting really created a striking result. So, I shaped up this piece.
This piece is currently a 'work in progress'. These images show it at the rough sanded stage with a temporary sealer applied.
I still have to clean out most of the borer tracks. Once that's done, the bowl will show a lot more perforation than it currently does. This is going to result in some really striking light play through the piece in the right display situation. I think I'll keep the final finish fairly matte so as to not take the emphasis away from the insect and fungal damage effects.
More images can be seen HERE on the website.