Sunday, July 1, 2012

The American Cherry

Cherry is one of my favorite woods to turn with. Unfortunately I never seem to have any, or at least not large enough pieces of it for turning. I though that I should spread the word about this wood, and why I enjoy turning with it so much.

First off the North American Cherry is one of the most well know woods. From it blossoms to rich colored wood, the cherry emanates a delicate beauty. That cultures around the world have used as inspiration for their art.

Art featuring Cherrys from Japan
It's bark is not only used for wood turning but was also used for medical tonics. I am not sure if it still used in modern medicine, but there are Chinese supplements that still use its wood and petals.

Currently it is a popular wood for furniture and floor. Having incredible high sales in the Midwest and Eastern United States. Which might be a reason why I like it so much, seeing as I live toward the Midwest demographic.

Now the reason why it is my favorite wood to turn. The heart wood of the cherry is a rich red, but as saplings the color can range from white to a light brown-red. This gives the wood a very different character from other woods. It also has a very defined pattern with in the wood.
 Steaming the wood can help "bleed" the red across the surface. This gives it a more tone down uniform look. I only steam cherry on request, I feel that is ruins the wood. Cherry is meant to be a robust red, not a dull red.

Solid piece of cherry

The robust color of the cherry

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to see the difference between your cherry and cherry wood in the UK. Over here there is not the same contrast between sap and heartwood. It tends to be a sort of pink/yellow/brown, in the heart and very pale yellow in the sap. I love turning it. It smells of almonds, turns cleanly, dries well and finishes nicely. I usually have some on my bowl pages but they soon sell.