Olea europaea (European Olive) Live Edge Bowls

  • Advertise with us
Project by JamesVavra posted 1521 days ago 2378 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 1628 days

#1 posted 1521 days ago

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


112010 posts in 2203 days

#2 posted 1521 days ago

that’s one wild bowl way cool.

-- Custom furniture

View Bearpie's profile


2586 posts in 1644 days

#3 posted 1521 days ago

Beautiful figured wood and nice shaped bowls!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Richard 's profile


388 posts in 1747 days

#4 posted 1521 days ago

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


286 posts in 1942 days

#5 posted 1521 days ago

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 1989 days

#6 posted 1521 days ago

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

View scrappy's profile


3505 posts in 2057 days

#7 posted 1520 days ago

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!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase