Rare chittimwood bowl

Jim Harwell of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Museum Association and local craftsman Willis Mason display the bowl, milled from rare chittim wood, which will be among the featured items to be auctioned professionally during this year’s Pasta Premier. The event, set for Thursday evening, Aug. 9, is an annual fundraiser of the Museum. Tickets are currently available from any board member.

Another of the featured items to be auctioned during the upcoming Pasta Premier is a bowl milled from one of the rarest types of wood in the nation, chittimwood.

While a number of items will be included in a silent auction held during the Pasta Premier, set for Thursday, Aug. 9, only a few items have been singled out for their uniqueness and included in a live professional auction to be done by Claude Rigsby, an auctioneer with Van Massey Auction and Realty here in Fayetteville.

“Chittimwood, from the acacia family, has only been found in a few places in the United States,” said Rachel Harwell, who is assisting in organizing the Pasta Premier, noting that the wood is described as shittim wood in the Bible in reference to its use in the construction of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle.

“This wood was brought to me from Alabama,” said Willis Mason, a Lincoln County artisan and craftsman known for milling beautiful wooden bowls, including those from the historic oaks which once stood here near the Camp Blount State Historical Site. “It was from around Monto Sano Mountain … It is considered to be one of the rarest woods in the nation.

“The Confederacy used to boil it – the yellow tint would be used to dye the uniforms,” Mason continued, describing how he milled the wood from the stump of the shittah tree to make the bowl. “Known for its resistance to decay, it’s a very hard wood … It’s very difficult to mill and the process scan be a little dangerous, since much of the time, you’re not in full contact with the wood.”

The bowl, about 10 ½ to 11 ½ inches in diameter, is exquisite in shape, color and form – “It’s an expensive wood,” Mason said. “I’m glad, though, to be able to do this for the Museum.”

The 2018 Pasta Premier will get underway with a social hour at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening, Aug. 9, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Known for its delicious fare, the event will be catered again this year by Deborah McFerrin. Dessert this year will be tiramisu, topped with chocolate toffee. Tickets, $50 each, may be purchased from any museum board member.

The event is the museum’s primary source of support and provides great food, wine, and fellowship. In addition to the live auction, a silent auction will also be held as part of the fundraiser for the local nonprofit.

For additional information or for tickets, contact a museum board member or call 931-433-2332.