I typically paint or wax the ends of green logs/slabs to ensure a slow and even curing.
I’ve begun to harvest some of the holly trees on our property in anticipation of making small bowls, spoons, candlesticks and other tableware for our inaugural Secret Dinner scheduled for this fall. The trees were probably planted about 30 years ago as an ornamental and they’ve grown to an unmanageable height, blocking light and clogging our gutters with their spiny fallen leaves. We’ll continue to make winter wreaths from branches of the remaining variegated shrubs, but I’m eager to try my hand at turning, break in an excellent set of Sheffield chisels and learn a valuable new skill.
In Celtic folklore, the holly tree symbolizes protection, and it’s an ancient tradition to plant them close to dwellings to ward off evil spirits while providing food and shelter for seasonal bird migrations. A healing tea can be brewed from the leaves of certain holly trees, and it was believed that throwing a stick of holly towards bears, wolves and wildcats will ward them away. The tree has also been thought to protect people from threat of lightning and severe weather. I will consider these themes as I turn the wood over the summer for an autumnal feast featuring foraged foods from the sea.