My anniversary bowls have devoloped from a mistake I made when I was inexperienced which I mentioned it in my blog on learning through experience.
I have made many special birthday or wedding anniversary bowls with a coin in the base. I have made at least three bowls for people celebrating their 100th birthday. For two of these I was able to get the wood for the bowls from the farms where the women were brought up. So the bowl was truly personal to them. They would probably have played in the tree from which the bowl was made. I remember being told afterwards that someone went to see one of these women and there on her table was the card from the Queen and my bowl – both in pride of place! Very touching.
I find that light wood works best for pennies and ha’pennies though darker wood is fine for a sixpence or a shilling. I like to use the pennies most of all since they are large coins so show more. I have been given a lot of coins by now and have quite a good selection now though there are many years missing, especially the war years. Personally my favourite coins are the old ones that are really worn and it is no longer possible to read anything on them. They are useless for this purpose but what I like about them is the thought that the wear comes from being handled so much over the years. I think of how much that penny might have meant to someone a hundred years ago, how they would have had to think carefully before spending it. How long was it in a workman’s pocket, or in a little child’s grubby hand with dreams of buying that special something with it?
This bowl was made for an 80th birthday. The man in question sells tractors and parts for tractors. He gets a lot of parts supplied on very sturdy pallets. These have been used by many people to make sheds, fencing panels, raised beds, mock furniture for me and when all other uses have been exhausted they make great firewood (they are non-returnable). Having had many of these pallets over the years it only seemed appropriate to turn him a bowl using a piece of a pallet. I left the wood as long as possible and used a piece that had the printing on it to make it as obvious as possible that it was from a pallet. Just a bit of fun.
Someone planted a small Monkey Puzzle tree just outside her house about sixty years ago. It had grown far too big for the position it was in just outside the house so her son had no choice but to cut it down and he gave me some of the wood. This bowl I gave to his elderly mother. The pith of Monkey Puzzle is poor and fibrous so I put a penny in the centre from her birth year.