Harold Jones Woodturner

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Turning Fruitwood from Seymour Connecticut

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Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a lady who grew up on a farm in Seymour Connecticut and now lives in North Carolina.  There was a Red Astrakhan Apple tree growing on the farm and she wanted to preserve it in a special way.  She had seen some of my work in a gallery in North Carolina and contacted me about making something from the wood.  


The tree itself was not quite dead when she harvested the wood, but was close to dead and probably would not have lasted much longer. She decided to cut it down and save a few pieces for the purpose of creating some mementos for the family.  Shortly before cutting the tree down she and her sisters made the very difficult decision to list the farm for sale.  It was probably one of the most difficult decisions they had ever made because her grandparents bought the farm after coming to the US from Russia.  It was where they decided to put down the family roots.  


Soon after she was born, her grandparents built a smaller house on the land and persuaded her father to move his family into the farmhouse.  Having wonderful memories of the place, she wanted something tangible to keep with her.  A piece of an apple tree that had grown on the property seemed perfect.


She had climbed in the tree, ate apples from the tree, sat in the shade of the tree, raked leaves from under the tree, and put buckets of water under the tree for the deer who came to eat the apples.  She thought other family members might feel the same way so she wanted pieces made to give them as a remembrance.  Hopefully these heirlooms will be handed down to their descendants who will never actually know the farm.


 










                                                                                                 































 


When she brought the wood by my place I was disappointed to see that it had split and cracked and had some decay.  However there was still some beautiful sound wood that I could salvage. The tree yielded several natural edge bowls, some goblets, mugs, pens and quite a few bottle stoppers. The natural edge bowls included bark edges, worm holes, splits and cracks along with knot holes. The contrast between the heartwood and sapwood gave the pieces some interesting color.  The cracks in the wood were filled to give the bowls even more interest.