I love plywood. It can be inexpensive, sturdy, and, if you play with it a little bit, absolutely beautiful. The photos below document one of my "play" dates with some beautiful BB/B Russian Birch.

My efforts culminated in a rich, unique expression of the plywood's grain. By gluing together plywood planes at non-parallel angles and then shaping, the resultant gradients of grain will give you a pleasant surprise.