Bowls from the Dogwood

The dogwood tree (Cornus florida) is a beloved feature of the woods and yards of the southern Appalachians. The four white, or sometimes pink, petals of its flower are tinged with red at their tips and a “crown” of small flower parts stands at the center, leading the devout in this region to see it as a symbol of the cross of Christ. Legend holds that it was once a large tree on which Christ was crucified, but was stunted into its present small and contorted shape as a curse for this wicked history. In the fall, bright red berries prepare the way for winter’s coats of snow and ice.

In spite of its small size, it offers woodturners a hard material veined in pink hues. I have been working with some pieces that have been aging for a few years and which exhibit some decay. One of the bowls has a knotted hole. A couple of them have fillings of ground turquoise in their eroded surfaces. They’re small, of course, but have a gem-like beauty, so I thought I’d show some of them to a wider circle. You can work out your own symbolic meanings from there.

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2 Responses to Bowls from the Dogwood

  1. The bowls are beautiful. I though this site was going to be a poem about the tree– looking toward Easter. You can do that ! Regards Anita Gower Foster, Ocala, Fl.

  2. Glenda Beall says:

    These are gorgeous. I love the dogwood tree. My property has about 25 – 30 around my house. An old one died last year and had to be removed. It is wonderful that you make such beautiful things from the dogwood.

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