Go with the grain
When it comes to looks, how you cut the blank log is as important as how you turn it at the lathe. Changing the orientation of a bowl blank within a log will give you very different grain patterns.
Although some turners have found ways of using the pith in their design, removing that square from the center of the log not only will save stock but also make things safer. Big cracks are easy to see, but smaller splits, such as the one shown in the lower log section, can open up and cause a blank to fly apart when you flick the switch. For that reason, inspect your stock before turning.