Olea europaea (European Olive) Live Edge Bowls

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Project by JamesVavra posted 06-23-2010 03:52 AM 3530 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I picked up a couple of hunks of Olive wood from one of the guys in my turning club. He used to live in Northern California so I assumed that they were European Olive (Olea europaea). However, my wife thinks that it’s Russian Olive (Elaeagnus augustifolia). Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the bark prior to turning, so now I’m not sure.

Any of you guys want to confirm that this is European Olive?

The first three are of the same bowl – approximately 11” in diameter and 4” high. Its wall thickness is about 1/2” – it seemed to want some heft to it. The fourth and fifth are of the second bowl – approximately 8” in diameter and 3” high. It’s wall thickness is closer to 3/32nds. Both pieces were mostly dry and were full of checks that I filled with CA glue and sanding dust.


7 comments so far

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 2966 days

#1 posted 06-23-2010 03:53 AM

Wow, beautiful wood. Love the figure in the bottom of the bowls.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View a1Jim's profile


117061 posts in 3541 days

#2 posted 06-23-2010 04:11 AM

that’s one wild bowl way cool.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 2982 days

#3 posted 06-23-2010 04:54 AM

Beautiful figured wood and nice shaped bowls!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3085 days

#4 posted 06-23-2010 05:52 AM

It looks like russian olive to me, I simply hate russian olive. My friend had a tree that blew down during a storm and I agreed to remove it and keep the firewood. Later that year I was burning it, the odor of burning russian olive wood just stinks to me. Well I thought it wasn’t cured enough, so next year I tried burning it..same result. Well I thought I would do some woodworking with it and the sawdust had that familiar odor so I finally got rid of it by dumping it out by the lake and hopefully somebody had a bonfire with it.

Well you can try burning the shavings to see if it has any scent to it. Also the bark is a tad stringy, hopefully this helps with your identification. But I got to say it is a highly figured bowl.
I like your mortar and pestle bowl.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View JamesVavra's profile


304 posts in 3280 days

#5 posted 06-23-2010 01:55 PM

Hmm – the dust was had an odor, but it was very similar to the “Bethelem Olive” pen blanks that I’ve turned – smelled a bit like olive oil. And the bark was not stringy at all – fairly smooth and it was just starting to crack into individual scales (this was from a smaller crotch section).


View peruturner's profile


317 posts in 3326 days

#6 posted 06-23-2010 06:39 PM

Yes is olive wood I turn quite a bit here in lima

View scrappy's profile


3506 posts in 3394 days

#7 posted 06-24-2010 08:38 AM

I don’t care what kind of wood it is. (except I want some!) They are beautiful bowls!. Great shapes and love the live edge. The wood has some very interesting grain.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

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