Living here in Southern California gives you the option of being able to surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon making it one of the most unique places to live within the USA.
I find that my favorite season is during the spring time where the streets and avenues take on a whole new look with the blossoms of Cherry and Jacaranda filling the once dormant trees. One would never know that the Jacaranda is an import and native of Brazil, Northwestern Argentina and Bolivia. It has established itself in courtyards and landscaping making for a spectacular display in spring and early summer of beautiful clusters of lavender blue flower.
I use to have a couple of Jacaranda trees in my yard but I found that the clay soil was not to their liking. Inadequate drainage caused the roots to rot, leaving me with dead ten foot tall trees. They tend to like well drained soil so if I were to grow them again there would have to be extensive soil amendment done.
Removing the trees was not a problem, after all there were no roots! I thought that maybe I could use the timber for making a couple of chisel handles. Most of the moisture had already been purged from the tree so I turned up a couple of handles and was pleasantly surprised by the vivid grain.
Maybe this would make an interesting Welsh Lovespoon, I was a little apprehensive at first so I decided to make only a small example. I decided to make a classic design that incorporated Celtic Knotwork and Hearts. This would be intricate enough to see how suitable the timber would be and quite different.
I cut a section out of the four inch trunk leaving the bark on for added interest, penciled in the design and went to work. I found the timber hard to carve, so sharp carving tools were essential but progress was reasonably quick. Once carved the timber sanded to a very smooth finish and after applying a wax paste finish the grain of the Jacaranda jumped out making the spoon come alive.
My Jacaranda trees were dead but by utilizing the timber they have been brought back to life in a unique fashion, be it as a chisel handle or a Welsh Lovespoon.