Over the last few years we have really started to see the effects of Ash die-back on the UK's tree population, with many land owners forced to fell trees showing signs of the disease. This is terrible, but it has meant that there is a huge amount of Ash timber around. Maybe it has made people re-assess how wonderful the wood from the Ash is, and also what a great loss it is to lose so many of these trees.
Personally, I have always been a big fan of Ash - it is lovely timber to work with and often has beautiful figuring running through it, especially if you are lucky enough to find boards of what we call Olive Ash with its darker heartwood. If you want to learn more about how useful this wood is, I can recommend you read the book "The Man who made things out of Trees" by Robert Penn. A wonderful story of one mans journey to use wood from an Ash tree in lots of different ways.
The National Trust own land near my workshop, so when they came to fell some Ash trees with die-back the other week I managed to get a few lumps of wood from them, and have just started to use some of it. There are a couple of photos below. I think this wood is quite beautiful in a simple and classical way.
This is a simple hollow vessel with the natural edge left around the opening at the top. The vessel is unremarkable, but the clear growth rings running through the piece are quite lovely and give it real character. The vessel is around 25cm high by 22cm in diameter.