I have been making small boxes (3"Dia) using pear with some success. It takes detail reasonably well and does not have a strong grain pattern that detracts from the designs. What other domestic woods are available that lend themselves to Rose Engine work?
Mountain Mahogany works well. I don't think it's commercially available. I get mine from some folks that gather it up in Utah. Also, Ironwood works well (but often has a lot of cracks that you have to work around).