A board with this kind of figuring is a rare piece. You can either pay a lot of money for it or search through piles of lumber and hope to get lucky.
I found this beautiful piece a while back . . and I keep it for special uses only. But a project like that great Heart-Shaped Wedding Ring Music box is perfect to show this off.
Painfully, I had to cut into it.
A Woodworking Tip: When you're working on a piece that you are going to turn as a whole, but that will be in two pieces again when done (as with a heart that will open in half), glue two blocks together with a piece of paper in-between.
This will let you turn them together so they match up, but will also let you separate them easier on that seam after they've been shaped on the lathe. If you don't have paper/ cardboard in the middle, the glue will seep into each half and it will be difficult to separate them in a straight line down the middle. This way you are mostly having to take away paper when you are separating them again.
Warning: When gluing together this way, if a tool grabs onto that seam it can tear it off of the lathe sending wooden blocks flying. Turn cautiously with light cuts.
It's such a special project, even my glue bear is all dressed up!
You'll see I cut enough to make 4 of the heart portion of this box. This allows me some room for difficulties in turning or hollowing the piece out. Things happen and you don't want to have to start over. So instead I'll bring each one up to the same level together and hope to have 4 when I'm done.