I have had a block of red elm since last summer that I've wanted to work on and I finally have space in my schedule for. I got this block from Wood Turning Blanks 4 U, a small family owned wood business in Florida/http://www.woodturningblanks4u.com/. They have a nice inventory of blanks from a variety of trees that they harvest from around the southeastern US.
Any way this is a 3"x10" block:
...blocks like this typically arrive coated with wax or Anchorseal, both of which keep the block from drying out and cracking. And they are usually covered with dirt and saw dust so it can be difficult to know just what the wood underneath looks like.
What a surprise was in store for me:
This is some really spectacular grain--and the wood is spalted. See the next two photos:
Anyway, the block is unseasoned so its going to have to go into the drying bag for about 1 month so it will dry slowly and hopefully not crack or distort. I've cut it very thick at this point to give us wood to work with when I cut it again.
And here's the best part--the bowl is already sold!
We'll come back to this one later.