Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Than Firewood

When one of our mesquite trees blew apart in a storm earlier this year, we decided to harvest as much of the wood as possible rather than dump it in the alley for trash pickup. While many people think mesquite is only good for burning, it is a fine hardwood with a beautiful range of colors from light cream to espresso brown. We now have a pile of thin twigs to use at our first burn when we fire the terra cotta and the bentonite items we made in summer and fall, but that is only the leftover bits. We also have a pile of walking sticks, shillelaghs, staves, canes, besom handles, wands and hat or bun pins.

While mesquite is beautiful, it cracks during curing. We wiped each piece with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil, followed by a wipe with a clean paper towel to ensure even distribution. Below is a vampire skull incense burner Gypsy made for a friend's birthday, showing the range of colors in the wood:

Photo by Gypsy Wilburn, February 2012

Photo by Gypsy Wilburn, February 2012

Photo by Gypsy Wilburn, February 2012

Here is what it started out as:

Photo by Jack V. Sage, February 2012

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