Cherry – the versatile wood

The photo for the featured image was just taken this morning. I was finishing a batch of cherry treen. If it’s fall it’s time for me to start making treen for those friends who’ve requested spoons, spatulas, or spreaders for the holidays. The image illustrates four of the reasons I love cherry.

Cherry has a lovely color repertoire depending on the circumstance of the tree’s growth. Color, grain and hardness vary widely. Cherry is durable, and moderately hard to carve, but not so hard that it’s a a trial. In addition to treen I’ve done chip carving in cherry, and it’s my “go to” wood for ship and boat portraits. There is no other wood that I have had such an intimate and long lasting relationship with. I love our native New England cherry and I’m excessively fond of the Alleghenny cherry that I get from Pennsylvania.

In recent years I’ve had difficulty getting the wider planks I prefer for portraits and now regularly joint panels from narrower stock. Perhaps, that is a fifth reason why I love cherry; once glued properly it holds together well.

If you haven’t tried cherry because you thought it too hard I’d advise getting a sample and allowing the wood to appeal to you.

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