A Good Turn!
I've been a self-taught woodworker for about 35 years with a focus on bespoke furniture and the occasional stringed instrument. Wood-turning has come to me a little later and is always work in progress. I find crafting with the lathe fascinating, compelling and at times, addictive. There is always a new technique to adopt and develop.
I use almost exclusively locally- sourced timbers but rarely commercially produced or harvested materials. Interesting timbers include spalted grain from the partial decay of wood, also ripple. flame. or quilting: all of which can produce beautiful grain patterns. Turning stock is always close at hand and there's often a gem hiding somewhere within the log-stack or tree surgeons wagon.
I cut and dry my own timber which can take a couple of years to process. However, wet unseasoned material is equally workable and can be turned thin, then rapidly dried to produce erratic shapes from warping, splitting and shrinkage. Occasionally I water colour and lacquer my work or hand carve the outer surfaces to provide texture. For more natural lustre I use Danish oil.
Recently I've focused more on non functional turned pieces (other than the occasional fruit bowl) hence when people ask me what they should put in the vessels, my advice is always the same. Nothing. Instead, appreciate each unique piece in isolation, turn it over in your hands, appreciate its shape, form, texture, and features. Enjoy the wood as it matures with age.