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A small pine tree with a trunk diameter of about 3" had died due to the high water on Georgian Bay. I was given about 4 feet of this tree including the roots.

The roots intrigued me. How could I incorporate them into a piece. Over a period of about a year I pondered this question. In the meantime I separated the trunk from the roots leaving about 6" of the trunk for orientation. I removed a quantity of small stones which were imbedded in the roots, cleaned away the sand and loose bark and set the piece aside for contemplation.

I decided to encase the roots in epoxy and in the process make two bowls that would give the sense of the tree trying to survive in an overabundance of water. It took about 6 months to pour the epoxy for both pieces. It then took almost a year before I built up the courage to turn the first piece.

For me, there are a lot of unknowns in turning epoxy. I prefer a cautious approach, thinking of all the possibilities including that of the blank leaving the lathe prematurely. For reference, when I turn a normal salad bowl the actual turning takes 20 minutes to half an hour. For this bowl the actual turning time was just over seven hours. That is seven hours of intense, highly focused, stressful work.

However, after sanding, when I applied the first coat of finish I knew that all that time and effort was worth it. The blue tint of the epoxy represents both the water of life and in its overabundance , death. Here in this bowl the tree and the water are caught in a moment of their dance.

I expect to have the second piece in this duo ready for the art show in 2023.


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