Lake Time long handled decorative ladle

This very long ladle with its deep orange-brown color is from wood found when I was teaching a workshop in Tennessee ca. 2000. Our class had found the remains of the trunk and major roots of a medium size Osage Orange tree propped against a building. We were told it had been at the bottom of a lake for several years before someone hauled it out with the intension of using it. That intention had long ago been lost and we were offered the tree, which we cut and shared. I started making a ladle from my section but set it aside for almost ten years before deciding to complete it. I had been thinking that the rough outside surface was what’s just under the bark, a feature I frequently employ. As the ladle approached completion I started to wonder why I hadn’t seen the light color sapwood typical of this species. Only later did it dawn on me that the sapwood, which is not durable, must have deteriorated while the wood was in the water and later sitting around, whereas the durable heartwood survived. What I had been thinking was the outdoor surface of the tree was, instead, the outer surface of just the heartwood.

WOOD: Osage Orange

DIMENSIONS*: 32″ x 4″ x 3″


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* NOTE ABOUT DIMENSIONS: Dimensions are listed in this order: length x width x height; measured to the nearest quarter-inch. All dimensions are for the piece as it sits or lies on a flat surface.

Photo credit: Rudy Hellmann