Turning Archive 2007

Aftermath - Prince William Sound *PIC*

Steve Russell
>Hello to the group,

Several years ago I began a series I call "Aftermath". All of the pieces in this series mark significant moments in human history without regard to the politics of the event. This first picture is from a piece titled "Aftermath, Prince William Sound", marking the oil spill on March 24, 1989 of the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, which struck Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine waters of PWS.

This is a shallow bowl in Silver Maple with a delicate raised bead on the rim and a back-cut relief on the interior sweep. The piece was chosen to represent this event because of the degradation of the heartwood caused by the Xylaria hypoxylon fungus. The fine black zone lines in the lower heartwood area mimic pools of oil on the water as it is being washed ashore. All but one of the pieces that I turned from this beautiful Silver Maple tree were perfect in color and figure, much like the pristine waters of Prince William Sound before this tragic event. This was the only blank that was damaged by the fungus in the group of Maple I was turning.

A few weeks before turning this piece, I was researching the oil spill and the effects it had on the waters in Prince William Sound, its animals and the people who lived in the area. All of this was still fresh on my mind when I began to finish turn the piece and I subsequently changed the focus and direction of the piece to represent this event. My "Aftermath" series have been some of the most popular pieces I have turned over the years, each piece marking a significant event in human history that in many ways, changed the way we all look at the world around us. As a result of this spill, the oil industry began a massive effort to replace the global fleet of oil tankers to double-hulled versions to increase the safety of transporting crude oil in the world's waters.

Steve Russell
Eurowood Werks Woodturning Studio
The Woodlands, Texas

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