Recent Work from Duncan Birch.

This account of a recent commission was provided by Duncan. I only took a picture of one of the urns. Just squint and you can see both of them as they are very similar.  Nice work Duncan.

It all started with a phone call from Mel saying he told a man to contact me as he was wanting someone to make him two cremation urns from Olive Wood. Not knowing what Olive Wood even looked like I agreed to at least consider it. On researching Olive Wood I am led to believe that these trees are not real tall and though the trunk or main stem gets quite large and quite crooked. They live and produce olives for up to two thousand years. It is only after their production has declined that they are harvested for lumber, and I use the word lumber loosely. They are not considered an endangered species and grow in several areas of the world. When the gentleman showed up he had a slab of anything but lumber. It was a slab about 12 inches wide and 7 feet long . (I don’t have a clue what that might be in metric.) It was also quite curved but it was sanded to 13/16 thick. There were a lot of voids in it but I figured I could get enough staves to make the urns. One portion of the board was good on both sides, but when cut it revealed a crack that was not visible from either surface. However I was able to complete the two urns with a little head scratching and possibly inventing some new words. Olive is a fairly dense heavy wood and quite hard but it cuts relatively easy and finishes to a very high quality surface. The grain is really beautiful as the accompanying pictures show. I am quite pleased with the finished product in spite of problems dealing with the voids and cracks.

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