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Wood turning

Above: Walnut and maple, 131 pieces.

The Story of the Strange Colored Wood

       The ash tree that made this bowl was blown from the side of Mount St. Helens on May 18th, 1980 by the volcano. It flowed with the mud and debris down the Toutle River, into the Cowlitz River, then the Columbia and on to the Pacific Ocean where it floated in salt water for an unknown amount of time. A storm finally washed it up on Cape Disappointment Jetty, where it baked in the sun for years, causing the gray with dark streaks you see today. 

      The Coast Guard allowed my small wood turning club to do an experimental harvest of some of the wood that had washed up. Since there wasn't a road to that part of the Jetty we could only take what we were willing to carry out on our backs. 

       The unique color of the wood comes from the extreme heat and ash blasting the bark off and digging into the tree, the time in salt water and finally, the elements when it laid for years on the edge of the Coast Guard base.

       When I worked on it, I could smell the Sulphur from the volcano coming off the wood.