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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Amherst Yew

A yew tree on an Amherst campus had to come down, having had the misfortune of being planted where a new building will eventually be planted. If only trees could pull up stakes and walk away! But at least its memory will live on in the form of a few striking bowls and other items.

Look at the warm orange/brown heartwood color and swirling grain of this beauty. It features patches of contrasting, cream-colored sapwood, some dark brown bark inclusions, and even some subtle purple highlights (second photo)!

Yew (Taxus), a short-needled evergreen of several species, is typically planted as an ornamental shrub, often around foundations ("spreading" yew). But left unchecked, "upright" yew can grow to be a small tree, typically as a clump of multiple trunks. Its wood is hard and dense, and is a joy to spin on the lathe.  You can read and see more about this bowl at http://www.bowlwood.com/ (where it's available for purchase).

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