Bowls made from small Crotches

  • Advertise with us
Project by Brian Havens posted 658 days ago 1136 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Crotch wood, that is logs where a branch or trunk diverge into two branches, contains a chunk of highly figured wood known as “feather figure”, so named because it often resembles a feather. On small crotch logs, there is little feather figure to be had, and turning such chunks of wood in the usual ways (either as a conventional bowl or a typical natural edge bowl) ends up cutting away most or all of what little feather figure there is.

I have found two ways to retain and show off what little feather figure there is in a small crotch: One is to make a winged bowl, thereby retaining at least some of the feather figure on the wing. The other is to make a natural edge bowl with a flat or relatively flat bottom. Since the feather figure is in the center of the crotch, the figure will show up on the bottom of a natural edge bowl. As a bonus, a natural edge bowl made from a crotch will have three peaks and valleys along the rim, as opposed to the usual two.

Photo #1

This is a crotch-winged bowl made from some heavily spalted Apple. The spalting has resulted in some spectacular grain pattern.

Photo #2

A closeup of the feather figure. One of the tradeoffs when making a winged bowl from a crotch is between the size of the bowl section and the amount of feather figure retained. A larger bowl section will cut away some of the feather figure, and a smaller bowl section will retain more feather figure. In this case, the bowl section was maximize, and some of the feather figure was cut away.

Photo #3

Another crotch-winged bowl, this one made from Albizia

Photo #4

A closeup of the feather figure. Since the bowl section is less than maximized, more of the feather figure is retained.

Photo #5

A natural edge bowl made from the other half of the log that the bowl in Photos #3 is from. The feather figure seems to radiate out from the center more than other species.

Photo #6

A natural edge bowl made from a crotch of Cherry. There was very little feather figure in this piece, such that the outside/bottom of the bowl has more figure that the bottom inside.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

8 comments so far

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

568 posts in 2902 days

#1 posted 658 days ago

Beautiful bowls!

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 812 days

#2 posted 657 days ago

Impressive! An au naturel look always appeal to my senses.



View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 2721 days

#3 posted 657 days ago

Very nice work, Brian. You got the best out of those pieces of wood!


View atchison32's profile


150 posts in 1548 days

#4 posted 657 days ago


View a1Jim's profile


112027 posts in 2213 days

#5 posted 657 days ago

Great looking bowls and fantastic figure .

-- Custom furniture

View Dave's profile


11159 posts in 1476 days

#6 posted 657 days ago

Brian you have become so skillful in your turning.
You work shows how good you are.
Well done!

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View murch's profile


1142 posts in 1260 days

#7 posted 657 days ago

Well aren’t they fab looking bowls.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

194 posts in 1742 days

#8 posted 656 days ago

Thanks folks. I am glad you like the bowls.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

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