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One of the joys of woodworking is being able to work with all sorts of different woods, and with woods that have different figures within them. I never get tired of looking at all the different designs and shapes that are comprised of different figured woods. It's almost like looking at clouds, they are all different, the beauty of wood, is they don't change like clouds do, they remain constant.
One of my favorite woods to work with is SPALTED wood. This kind of figure can occur in any wood and is basically caused by a fungus that invades the inner tree and in so doing leaves a path of lines and color changes that can bring out a very unique beauty to woods. It is far more noticeable in lighter color woods but can also occur in dark woods.
Spalting is the first breakdown of the wood fibers. It is where wood rot begins and if it is allowed to go too far, the spalting becomes rot and when rot goes far enough it can actually crumble and eventually would disintegrate and become part of the earth again ...