The Spalted Fagus Grandifolia Quartet

The Spalted Fagus Grandifolia Quartet


Conrad came out of his 10 year bowl turning hibernation for an alumni exhibition at The List Gallery at Swarthmore College in the spring of 2018. The hiatus was caused by the purchase and restoration of our 1892 Victorian home in 2008.

What emerged was the Spalted Fagus Grandifolia Quartet.

“In general, the best logs are the ‘butt cut’ or the bottom log of a tree. When buying lumber, sawmills often pay a premium for these logs, because the wood is straighter and has fewer defects. The biggest problem in dealing with bottom logs is the flair. Flair butts can create a host of headaches until you learn to deal with them.” -Chet Armstrong, Master Sawyer

What may be a logger’s ‘host of headaches’ is music to our ears. The 4 pieces in this collection were turned from a slab of culled American Beech Flair Butt. This slab was discarded in the woods in Media, PA, where it sat long enough to be colonized by various fungi who erected barriers to protect their food source, creating distinct black zone lines.

Bowl #1: Bass Base (photos 1-2). The Foundation. 13” in diameter x 4” deep.

Bowl #2: Second Child (photos 3-5 & 10). Reliably Surprising.

Bowl #3: Ode to Art (photos 6-7 & 10). Ironically whimsical and passionate about shunning conspicuous practicality. 10.5” in diameter x 3” deep.

Bowl #4: Past the Cracks (phots 8-9). The form that shaped itself from the delicate end of the slab.

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