All the bowls made by EntWood Turnings are from reclaimed or salvaged wood. Trees have not been cut down, but rather have already fallen - often from wind or disease – on private land such as old farmsteads in the Fraser River Valley.
Many of the trees used have stood on farms through generations of families. Some of the Walnut wood used in our bowls came from a tree toppled by wind storms in 2013 in downtown New Westminster. The growth rings in the tree indicate an age of close to 150 years.
The Chestnut bowls come from a tree on a multi-generational farmstead in Greendale, outside of Chilliwack. This tree was over 100 years old when it came down. The Pine wood we use comes from the interior forests of B.C. ravaged by the Mountain Pine Beetle.
Some of the wood we use is “figured” which means there is an aberration in the normal, consistent growth rings of the tree causing a unique aesthetic such as wavy, ribbon, quilted, or birds-eye features. Wavy, ribbon and quilted grains are byproducts of spiral grain. This wood has a washboard effect and as the varied grain intersects the wood surface and light at different angles, a hologram-type depth emerges. This wavy figuring can be especially seen in some of our maple bowls and our colour-stained bowls.
Burls are the result of a cancerous growth or genetic flaw manifesting in a knoblike outgrowth that when cut open reveal very convoluted growth patterns. They can most often be found on Maple, Elm, Walnut, Cherry and Birch trees. We have little access to burled trees; other interesting grain patterns are featured in most of our bowls.
Disease and decay is inevitable in wood which has fallen to the ground. This is a natural process of the decomposition of wood. This process often causes markings and colour staining and is called “spalting”. Spalted wood has been infiltrated by "waves" of fungus and decay, with each wave leaving a uniquely outlined stain-zone line. Once the wood is dried, fungi can no longer grow and the spalting becomes frozen in time. When wood is captured somewhere between the extremes of being completely sound and fully rotten, it can display magnificent beauty. Some of the Maple, Chestnut, Birch and other woods used for our bowls exhibit this spalting phenomenon, allowing Mother Nature to show off her flair for contemporary art.
The pine beetle infestation in B.C.’s northern pine forests is caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle which is native to North America and has been infesting pine trees here for thousands of years.
The beetle is the size of a grain of rice and bores through the bark mainly of mature Lodgepole Pine trees to lay eggs. The larvae do not penetrate the wood, but a blue fungus introduced by the beetle cuts off the flow of nutrients to the tree. The resulting blue stain is often referred to as denim wood.
The spread of the Mountain Pine Beetle has historically been controlled by extreme temperatures and by forest fires. Because of global warming and effective modern forest fire fighting efforts, the beetle has spread more easily to millions of acres in recent years. With much of the pine forests now harvested, there may be a respite in the attack of the Mountain Pine Beetle in B.C.