Callery Pear vases

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Project by Brian Havens posted 09-16-2011 05:40 PM 2188 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are the first and fifth vases in my series of six that I made to get the hang of hollowing with my new tool. The wood used for these two vases came from a some beautiful stock of Callery Pear that I have from locally felled trees. Callery Pear is quite beautiful (in my not so humble opinion). I am lucky that such beautiful wood is readily available to me, since it is a popular ornamental for its beautiful blossoms, but it does not live a really long time, often blowing over in storms. Pear also gets a variety of distinctive forms of spalting.

The smaller vase is the first vase I made with the new hollowing system, and as such, least uses the form to exploit the features of the wood. It is also the first time I used powdered brass, as an alternative to my usual black stone powder, to fill cracks. I am pleased with the brass fill.

The larger vase perhaps is the best of the set of six vases, when it comes to using the form to exploit the features of the wood. This piece of wood I had thought to be hopeless, and I was tempted to relegate it to the firewood pile on several occasions. The large corner of the bark ended up forming the neat natrual edge on the side of the rim, which fades into a brass filled crack. That is my favorite feature. For sure this was a difficult piece of wood to turn, with the deep cracks; but I think it was worth the effort.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

8 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18393 posts in 3879 days

#1 posted 09-16-2011 06:23 PM

Looks like you have it down pat ;-)) Nice vases.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2800 days

#2 posted 09-16-2011 08:50 PM

I am at awe about the beautiful vases you created. I think the brass match’s well with the pearwood. I have never heard of callery pear. I wil have to see about getting some. I loof forward to your other turnings.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3891 days

#3 posted 09-16-2011 08:59 PM

I’ve never seen this Pear before …is that the natural color ? Very nicely turned : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3026 days

#4 posted 09-17-2011 12:05 AM

Lovely job Brian on some beautifull timber, well done ;)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2857 days

#5 posted 09-17-2011 04:27 AM

That is a great use for this wood. Amazing color.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1902 posts in 3875 days

#6 posted 09-17-2011 05:59 AM

Gorgeous!! We have pear at our local Clark’s Hardwood, too. It is beautifully colored, and expensive!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Jaybird719's profile


141 posts in 3095 days

#7 posted 09-17-2011 09:33 PM

Nice forms, beautiful pieces of wood. Love the color of the pear wood.

-- -Jay Hartman - Morrisville, PA

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3309 days

#8 posted 09-21-2011 06:17 PM

Dusty56: That color is typical for Callery Pear (which is approximately the same thing as Bradford Pear). I have seen the sapwood lighter and more tan, and I have seen the heartwood of deeper red, but this vase is a fair sample of what is typical. I also find that pear often has figure, the way that it is hard to come upon a piece of Claro Walnut without at least a little figure.

matt garcia: Here, Callery Pear is a popular ornamental, so I come across it regularly (for free!). The probable reason it is expensive is that it is difficult to dry—the worst species I have tried, but once dry, it is quite stable. (I even use it for hand-tools and hand-planes.) You may want to keep a look out, especially after a storm with a lot of wind. That is when the older trees tend to get knocked over.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

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