I've got a client coming over this morning, so instead of making snarky comments about Edwards and Guiliani dropping out of the race (Yeah, like you didn't see that coming) I'll be out in the shop for a while.
In the meantime, you may ooh and ahh over this:
This is a bit different from my usual work. First, the bowl itself is turned from Sitka spruce and not green birch. This particular piece is turned from wood harvested from a beetle-killed tree that had been dead and standing for several years, and as such was extremely dry. Dry Sitka spruce is a pain to turn, it's a softwood that has very long, very tough fibers - perfect for building material, but not much fun to turn (though it smells great when you're making saw dust from it - kind've a clean, crisp pine scent). Because it's a pain, I don't usually work with it. However, this particular piece was done on commission and the client specified the material, shape, and design. Hey, if you're paying me, you can have it your way.
The client based her request on an older piece I had done for my wife a year or so ago, which graces her desk at work:
The fish are carved from birch and the bowl is finished in tung oil and an acrylic glaze. I like the tung oil finish as it gives the spruce a warm, yellow brown tone. Both of these bowls are turned with thicker walls and bases than if they had been made from birch. This keeps the bowl from deforming and provides strength, which is important in bowls intended for use rather than display.