Materials Used in Ornamental Turning
Ornamentally Turned Objects
This is an excellent wood for ornamental turning, and gets used often.
The wood is fairly dense, and it holds shapes very well. But it is the lightness in color, and the relative plain-ness of the wood which is why it is chosen for ornamental turning often.
Ornamental Turning Notes
It is not highly available, and is costly. Due to the cost and lack of availability, I recommend making a prototype as outlined above.
Alternatives to Holly are field maple, hard maple, or English sycamore, though their colors are not as bright white. These may be acceptable for work where colors are showing through as cuts are made through multiple layers.
Finishing this wood is usually not necessary.
More information is in The Wood Database.