Prairie's End Woodcrafts
Lloyd E. Stahl (281) 392-5336


Gallery of Artistic Vessels


I enjoy working with odd bits of wood to see what character is in them. One of the forms that I especially like utilizes the natural-edge of the wood. When a natural-edge piece is turned, it is oriented such that the original bark and sapwood of the wood forms the upper or outer edge. As you can see from the pieces below, the natural-edge rims can be quite irregular but very interesting.

I also like to play with pieces that have extreme natural or man-made flaws in them. These flaws may be splits and cracks, bark inclusions, staining from old hardware (such as barbed wire, fence staples or the nails from some kid's treehouse) and/or the tunnels and "frass" (powdered wood) of long-gone beetles and other wood borers. You will see a lot of those "character" features in the vessels included in this gallery.

The bowls and other vessels listed below fall into the "artistic" category - probably of limited use as traditional bowls (for salads, fruit, ot the like). The main value of these pieces is felt to be the unique beauty and character of the wood and their overall forms. I once heard a quote that I like defining "artistic" pieces (from some unnamed wood-turner). It goes something like "if it can't hold soup, it's artistic". That pretty well describes my "artistic" pieces.

If you like the woods I'm using in my turnings, you can buy similar woods through my other site, Texas Woodcrafts.net.



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Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 11-8

This is a beautiful, small natural-edge bowl turned from Texas Huisache (Sweet Acacia) with a nearly full bark rim. The color is the rosy reddish-brown of Huisache heartwood, the creamy light-brown of Huisache sapwood and dark brown of the polished Huisache bark. It was cut from a small Huisache crotch - a portion of the tree where it forks to make two or more separate limbs. As a result, you can see three separate piths in the sides of the bowl within a smoothly flowing, generally symmetrical pattern. There is a more complex grain pattern between two of the piths where the growth of the limbs distorted and elongated the overall grain pattern. This is quite attractive.

Turned from an older log of Huisache, the drying of that log as it aged resulted in several small drying cracks in the rim and a single very thin radial crack in the very bottom. These cracks are old and quite stable - I consider them to be part of the natural "character" of the bowl. A single small but prominent beetle hole pierces the lower portion of one side to form another eye-catching "feature".

The bowl is approximately 5 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches high. It was carefully sanded and finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil, and then buffed and waxed to a high glossy shine.

SOLD

Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 11-8 $80.00


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Natural-edge Black Walnut Bowl 11-9

This is a larger natural-edge bowl turned from a crotch of a Texas-grown Black Walnut. The stress on the limbs of that crotch as the tree was growing has produced a beautiful feather figure in the grain of the bottom (both inside and outside). The colors are a very nice mottled light to dark brown with several eye-catching patches of creamy brown, all capped by a very dark brown, full-bark rim. This is a very nice bowl.

The overall dimensions are a diameter of just over 8 inches and a height of 4-3/4 inches. It was carefully sanded and finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil, and then buffed and waxed to a high-gloss.

Sold



Natural-edge Black Walnut Bowl 11-9 $150.00


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Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 10-4

This is a beautiful small natural-edge bowl turned from Texas Huisache (Sweet Acacia) with a full bark rim and a smoothly flowing oval grain pattern. The basic colors are a rich reddish brown of the Huisache heartwood, a creamy light-brown of Huisache sapwood and a dark brown of the polished Huisache bark. An interesting, small oval area of golden brown spalted wood is present within the heartwood in the bottom of the bowl.

The sides and rim of this bowl are very thin and, while delicate-appearing, are quite strong. It is approximately 5 inches long, 4 inches wide and 2 inches high. It was carefully sanded and finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil, and then buffed and waxed to a medium glossy shine.



Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 10-4 $75.00


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Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 10-5

This is a larger natural-edge bowl turned from Texas Huisache (Sweet Acacia) with rim that rolls inward on the ends. It has a full bark rim and a smoothly flowing oval grain pattern. The basic colors are a rich reddish brown of the Huisache heartwood, a creamy light-brown of Huisache sapwood and a dark brown of the polished Huisache bark. It is a very nice bowl.

The sides and rim of this bowl are very thin and, while delicate-appearing, are quite strong. The very bottom of the bowl was cut so thin that the wood has warped slightly after being turned (that is the source of the bright reflection in the bottom of the bowl). The overall dimensions are approximately 6 inches long, 5-1/2 inches wide and 2-3/4 inches high. It was carefully sanded and finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil, and then buffed and waxed to a medium glossy shine.

SOLD



Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 10-5 $100.00


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Natural-edge Mesquite Bowl 08-3, a "Pot of Gold"

This is a beautiful natural-edge bowl turned from Texas Honey Mesquite with a (nearly) full bark rim. The basic color is the rich reddish-brown of Honey Mesquite heartwood, the creamy light-brown of Mesquite sapwood and dark brown of the polished Mesquite bark. It also has a "touch of gold" where I added a bit of reddish-gold colored metallic copper. The grain pattern is smoothly flowing in a symmetrical oval pattern.

This was an older piece of Mesquite with several small beetle holes below the barky rim. I used the metallic copper to fill (or partially-fill these holes and several other surface irregularities while turning. I think that the color goes very nicely with the Mesquite. That small dark area in the lower portion of the bowl is a patch of spalted Mesquite. I'm not sure why it forms that angular, parallelogram-like shape! But it is an interesting anomaly in the wood.

The bowl is approximately 7 inches wide and 4 inches high. It was carefully sanded and finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil, and then buffed and waxed to a medium glossy shine.

SOLD



Natural-edge Mesquite Bowl 08-3 $125.00


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Natural-edge Mesquite Bowl 08-2

This is a very nice natural-edge bowl turned from Texas Honey Mesquite. It is a natural edge bowl, but the bark was loose so I removed it all during turning. The resulting subsurface is an attractive, smoothly undulating edge. The color is a rich brown and the grain pattern is smoothly flowing in a symmetrical oval pattern.

This was an older piece of Mesquite and slightly "buggy", with several small beetle holes just below the barky rim. Three of these holes are frass-filled and one is open. Several thin and tight cracks extend across the bottom of this piece. I did reinforce these when I was turning and they are now quite stable, but I did not fill the completely. So this is definitely an "artistic" piece (i.e. - it won't hold soup!)

The bowl is approximately 8 inches wide and 4-1/4 inches high. It was carefully sanded, finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil and then buffed and waxed to a soft, satin shine.



Natural-edge Mesquite Bowl 08-2 $80.00


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Osage Orange Vase 08-1

This is a striking vase-shape semi-hollow form turned from an irregular crotch of Texas "Bodark" (Bois d'Arc or Osage Orange to you non-Texans). It has a nice full and rounded shape that ends at the top in a gently rolled and undercut rim. It was hollowed to a wall thickness of approximately 3/16ths of an inch. I think that it "turned-out" very nice.

The original Osage Orange blank was harvested from an old and dying tree on the old Stella Ranch, near Brookshire, Texas. That tree was very irregular and this portion included a number of bark-lined surface depressions and even some storm- and fire-damaged areas. As a result of these irregularities, this final-finished vase is full of natural holes - so much so that probably 20% of the vase is air rather than wood!

The most prominent "hole" is the long vertical crotch gap that extends from near the base up to and into the rounded rim. This marks the space between the two limbs of the tree's crotch (a point where two limbs diverge). It was once bark-lined, but I peeled away the bark to reveal the smooth cambium surface below. The complex grain patterns of the golden brown heartwood flow gracefully around this crotch and the adjacent light-brown sapwood.

The overall vase is approximately 8 inches wide and 7 inches tall. It was carefully hand sanded to 600 grit, finished with a combination of Danish Oil and multiple coats of Waterlox varnish, and then sigened and dated. I think that it absolutely gorgeous.

SOLD



Osage Orange Vase 08-1 $360.00


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Broken Pottery 08-1

This is an eye-catching bowl turned from a piece of very old and heavily spalted Texas Post Oak. The overall form is something of a Pueblo Indian pottery shape with a flaring lower portion and a sharply concave upper portion. Some irregularity in the shape of the rim and sides suggest an old, hand-thrown pot. A high-angle, linear bark inclusion on the side suggests a crack in the pottery; a flaw in the upper portion and side was modified to form the flowing, elongated gap in the rim that extends down into the "crack", giving the appearance of a shard broken off the lip of the pot.

The Post Oak grain forms an attractive swirling circular pattern. It also includes several areas of tightly-packed, net-like grain elements bounded by black spalt-lines and one area of narow, linear, grain-crossing ray flecks on the upper side. One large and two small irregular cavities are present on the lower sides and a number of small, black borer holes are present on the upper side. The colors range from an overall soft brown to a very dark but rich-looking brown, with a very dark black associated with the irregular cavities and spalt lines.

The bowl was sanded to a silky smoothness, sealed with Danish Oil and then buffed and waxed to a soft shine. It is approximately 7-1/2 inches wide and 5-1/2 inches high.


SOLD


Broken Pottery 08-1 $150.00


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Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 07-2

This is a very nice natural-edge bowl turned from a piece of spalted Texas Huisache (Sweet Acacia). It has an interesting central core of Huisache heartwood that passes thru the center with an appearance of "valleys" of sapwood on each side. The heartwood is a soft reddish brown; the sapwood is a creamy light brown with zones and patches of dark gray to black spalt shading. Small areas of thin and delicate black spalt lines are present at several spots (near the pith and sapwood edge, 1st and 2nd photo).

It is a natural edge bowl, but the bark was loose was removed during turning. The resulting subsurface is an attractive, smoothly undulting edge.

The bowl is approximately 6 inches wide and 4 inches high. It was carefully sanded, finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil and then buffed and waxed to a soft, satin shine.

SOLD



Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 07-2 $85.00


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Post Oak Burl Vase 07-2

This is an eye-catching small vase turned from a burl on the side of a very old Texas Post Oak. This tree suffered serious decay in the latter part of its life and the interior heartwood close to the burl had rotted away completely. Some of that decay spread to the burl and resulted in a fascinating series of large darkly-spalted cavities.

The overall form is a natural-edge vase with a steeply inward-turned bark rim. The Post Oak grain forms a swirling circular pattern that is interrupted by the eye-catching, vertically oriented, elongated and irregular cavities. The grain pattern also includes several areas of numerous tightly packed and swirling lens-like grain elements as well as some scattered burl-buds. The primary colors of the vase include the overall soft brown of the Post Oak heartwood and the very dark but rich looking brown of the natural-edge bark. A number of the cavities are rimmed by shiny black spalting.

The overall size of this irregular vase is approximately 5-1/4 inches in both height and width. It tapers gracefully down to a 2-inch waist in the lower portion, and then flares out to a 3-inch base. It was finished with multiple coats of satin lacquer. The final finished surface is a very nice soft shine.



SOLD



Post Oak Burl Vase 07-2 $125.00


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Irregular Sycamore Vase 07-1

This is a striking vase-shape turned from an irregular crotch of a Texas Sycamore tree. It has a fascinating combination of character flaws including a large open and bark-lined gap in the bottom, two smaller areas of partially-open, included-bark on the sides, and an "included", high-angle juvenile branch on one side. The colors are an attractive combination of soft, light browns and thin zones of darker brown around the bark associated with the gaps and cracks.

This vase-form was turned green and finished, and then set aside to dry and warp naturally. The result is slightly irregular and prominent ovaling of the rim. The originally-flat base dried to a slight concavity, such that the vase rocks slightly. It is an unusual but very attractive piece.

The overall size is approximately 6 inches wide and 6 inches high. It was very carefully hand sanded, finished with Danish Oil and then buffed and waxed to a soft, satin shine.



Irregular Sycamore Vase 07-1 $140.00


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Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 07-1

This is a very nice natural-edge bowl turned from a medium size crotch of a Texas Huisache (Sweet Acacia) tree. It has a beautiful pattern of tightly swirling grain around the three centers or "piths"of each limb the crotch. It has a prominent bark-inclusion in the bottom - formed by the two diverging limbs of the crotch which grew back together as the tree matured.

The colors are the soft reddish brown of the Huisache heartwood, the light tan-brown of the sapwood, and the dark brown of the bark of the natural edge of the top and the bark-inclusion on the bottom. It is very attractive.

The overall bowl is approximately 6 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches high. It was carefully sanded, finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil and then buffed and waxed to a soft, satin shine.

SOLD



Natural-edge Huisache Bowl 07-1 $120.00


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Odyssey 1

This is an eye-catching bowl turned from a large burl on the side of a very old Texas Post Oak. This tree suffered serious decay in the latter part of its life and the interior heartwood close to the burl had rotted away completely. Some of that decay spread to the burl and resulted in large cavities and a serious loss of structural integrity. Keeping this bowl together while turning was quite a challenge - thus the name "Odyssey". I have more of this Post Oak burl so there may be additional pieces in an "Odyssey" series.

The overall form is a shallow bowl with a deeply-rolled rim. The Post Oak grain forms a swirling circular pattern around the center. This pattern is frequently interrupted by a number of eye-catching linear gaps and small to very large and irregular cavities. The grain pattern also includes several areas of numerous tightly-packed and swirling lens-like grain elements as well as some scattered burl-buds. The colors range from an overall soft brown of the more-sound wood to a very dark but rich-looking brown that is associated with the decayed heartwood. These dark brown areas include a large, irregular patch in the bottom of the bowl, narrow, crisp dark brown rims around each of the linear gaps and cavities and the rough bark on the outer portion of the rim.

The bowl was turned from green wood and the inside and outside surfaces were initially sanded to a very silky smoothness. But, as the bowl dried many portions of the previously smooth surface "wrinkled" into a unique and attractive gently undulating to ridged pattern. That drying deformation also resulted in an interesting warping of the rim and the beaded-rim bottom.

The overall bowl is approximately 13 inches wide and 3 inches high. It was finished with multiple coats of Waterlox. The final finish is an eye-catching shiny gloss.



Odyssey 1 $250.00


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Redbud Hollow Form 06-1

This is another delicate and thin-walled hollow-form. It was turned from Texas Eastern Redbud with a small collar in Honey mesquite. The color is the soft light and dark browns of Redbud; the collar is the honey brown of Mesquite. The grain is a gently swirling high-angle pattern.

This hollow-form is approximately 3-1/2 inches wide and 3-3/4 inches high. The mouth in the center of the mesquite collar is approximately 1/4 inch wide. It foot is approximately 1-1/4 inches wide. Finishing also included sanding to 1000 grit, a long soak in natural Danish oil, followed by buffing and waxing (hard Carnauba wax) to a sensual, almost iridescent shine. It has been signed and dated.

Redbud Hollow Form 06-1 $75.00


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Hackberry Hollow Form 07-1

This is a delicate, thin-walled hollow-form turned from spalted Texas Hackberry. This piece was turned end-grain from a whole-log piece and the grain pattern is circular with oval closures in the widest portion of two sides. In large areas in the lower portion the grain is very thinnly laminated in a fascinating and almost iridescent pattern. The colors are an interesting combination of grays, light and dark browns.

This hollow-form is approximately 4 inches wide and 5 inches high. The mouth is approximately 1 inch wide; the foot is very small at 7/8 inches wide. Finishing included sanding to 1000 grit, a long soak in natural Danish oil, followed by buffing and waxing (hard Carnauba wax) to a sensual shine. It has been signed and dated.

Hackberry Hollow Form 07-1 $85.00


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Black Cherry Hollow Form 07-1

This is another delicate and thin-walled hollow-form turned from Texas Black Cherry. The colors include three different shades of soft browns, ranging from light brown of sapwood over most of the body, to a darker brown around the opening (unknown origin), to the dark reddish brown of heartwood on one entire side. A small area of bark remains on the side opposite the heartwood and forms a small, tight "bullseye" in the widest part of that side.

The size of this hollow-form is approximately 4 inches wide and 4-1/4 inches high. The mouth of the vessel is 7/8 inches wide and is slightly "necked" upward. The foot is very small at approximately 3/4 inch wide. Finishing included sanding to 1000 grit, a long soak in natural Danish oil, followed by buffing and waxing (hard Carnauba wax) to a sensual shine. It has been signed and dated.

Sale pending

Black Cherry Hollow Form 07-1 $75.00


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Redbud Hollow Form 07-2

This is another delicate and thin-walled hollow-form turned from Texas Eastern Redbud and including a small collar of Honey mesquite. The color is a relatively dark brown of the Redbud vase and the reddish brown of the Honey Mesquite collar. The grain forms a gently swirling high-angle pattern.

This hollow-form is approximately 4 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches high. The mouth in the center of the mesquite collar is approximately 3/8 inch wide. The foot is approximately 1 inch wide. Finishing also included sanding to 1000 grit, a long soak in natural Danish oil, followed by buffing and waxing (hard Carnauba wax) to a soft glossy shine. It has been signed and dated.

Redbud Hollow Form 07-2 $75.00


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Mesquite Harmony 1

This is an absolutely beautiful, bowl-shaped Mesquite piece with gracefully recurved sides and an almost harmonically undulating, natural edge. The body of this unique bowl is the gorgeous reddish honey brown of Mesquite heartwood, topped with a distinctive creamy yellow sapwood and edged with natural Mesquite bark at the rim. This piece is of gallery quality, exquisite, and very suitable for the centerpiece of a formal dining or entrance area.

This piece was carefully turned from a large Mesquite crotch (where two limbs diverge from the main trunk). The grain pattern is stunning - with annular rings that swirl around the center of each of the separate limbs and intermingle in the center to form a large "flame" pattern. Several areas, both inside and out, include a beautiful, iridescent and undulating grain, or "quilting" pattern. Numerous character features typical of Texas Honey Mesquite are present. These include two prominent and several small areas of "included bark", several small cracks (natural growth features, now quite stable) and occasional holes, both open and filled, from long gone Mesquite-boring Locust Beetles.

The overall size is approximately 15 inches in diameter and 7 inches tall at the highest point. The walls were turned to a thickness of approximately 3/8 inch (quite thin for a vessel of this size) but which, with the spherical, recurved shape of the side, results in a strong but very lightweight vessel. The weight of this large piece is less than 4 pounds.

Finishing included hand sanding to 1000 grit followed by multiple coats of a natural tung oil/varnish blend (Waterlox) and then buffed and waxed to a brilliant shine. It has been signed and dated by the artist (Lloyd Stahl).

Mesquite Harmony 1 $2,300.00


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Large Hackberry Burl Bowl 06-1

This is a striking bowl-shape turned from an irregular eye-burl off a storm-downed Texas Hackberry tree. It has a fascinating pattern of tightly swirling grain around numerous burl "buds". Many small, linear and lense-shaped gaps and areas of broadly swirling and colorful grain variations are present throughout. These are part of the normal (or abnormal) growth of burls.

One large, bark-edged hole is present in the central portion. The sides of this "bowl" are a combination of sharply angular natural bark and smoothly rounded saw-cut edges from where I removed it from the trunk of the tree.

The overall bowl is approximately 12 inches wide and 5 inches high. This bowl was carefully hand sanded, finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil and hand waxed to a soft, satin shine.

SOLD



Large Hackberry Burl Bowl 06-1 $240.00


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Large Oak Burl Bowl 06-1

This is a large bowl turned from a very irregular Live Oak Burl. It has a fascinating pattern of tightly swirling grain around numerous burl "buds". Many small linear gaps and larger sinuous gaps and irregular holes are present throughout. These are part of the normal (or abnormal) growth of burls. One of these larger irregular openings could not be avoided when orienting the burl for turning, and resulted in a large "holiday" in the side of the bowl.

The overall bowl is approximately 11 inches wide and 4 1/4 inches high. This bowl was carefully hand sanded, finished with hand-rubbed Danish Oil and hand waxed to a soft, satin shine.

SOLD



Large Oak Burl Bowl 06-1 $240.00



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