I like cracking opened a dead tree, seeing how the growth and imperfections and branches formed the finished piece. So far, I only continue to make items out of it just to see these things since they aren’t really good for anything else. In the foreground you see more wood from the tree that fell right behind my compost–a small chestnut oak. The wood behind it is a dogwood that split a couple years ago in a snowstorm, and only after sharpening and fixing our pruning saw did I actually cut the tall stump down and break it opened. Chiseling and a couple coats of oil revealed the black lines which on the end grain are small black circles. I use the stones–found by a creek a few days ago–to burnish the wood and make it shiny and smooth. As much as possible I want to retreat from sandpaper. The dogwood bowl needs work still, and I want to turn the oak into a little mancala game.