If you look closely, you'll see a black smudge on this bowl. It's mold from the tree. Some of the bowls are full of it, they're called spalted bowls, and sought out by some. Some bowl makers won't work with this type of wood, because it needs more work. But Ed Hoovler seems to revel in imperfections in wood. He says life isn't perfect, why should bowls be? If he had his way, he would sell me bowls full of holes, haha. But I don't think that would work for most people. So this bowl is gorgeous, unusual in that it's from a brown ash, and not perfect.
From the bowlmaker, Ed Hoovler, "A few years ago, I mentioned to Rogan, a family based logger, that I would admire to get a large brown ash log should he ever come across such a wonder. He didn't forget. Important to note that the brown ash is used by the Penobscot basket makers for their woven baskets."
These are hand-made wooden bowls, created one at a time from local trees, in Ed Hoovler's Monson workshop. From the time a tree is identified as a possible source of interesting, useful, well-crafted bowls to the end of the finishing and buffing process, nearly a year passes. The wood is shaped, set off to dry for 6+ months, given its final shape, hand-sanded in a 10-step procedure, finished in a 6-step technique and, finally, buffed in three-step operation. Theses bowls are meant to be used and are easy to maintain. Wash in warm soap and water, then dry with a soft cloth. Do not soak and do not use in a microwave. When the finish becomes dull over the course of time, renew with a liberal hand application of mineral oil, allow to sit for 30 minutes, then polish with a soft cloth. # 721