Depending on your technique, bow ties can be functional and ornamental or just ornamental. If you fill all your cracks with epoxy, inlaying a bowtie doesn't add any strutural intregity considering the surface area of the glue in the crack versus the contact area of the bowtie with the slab. If you don't fill the cracks, the bowtie will add structural integrity and help the crack from continuing to propagate. My personal technique and choice after cutting the slabs ends to length is to fill all the cracks and knots. I don't fill the cracks of they are natural fissures with bark. Filling drying cracks help stabilize the slab before I surface plane and sand with 80 grit. Which wood to then choose for bowties on your slab?
When you go into an ice cream shop, are you the type to always get chocolate or vanilla? Or do you step out of your zone and get something unusual. From my etsy sales, I can tell you approximately that woodworkers get chocolate 70% of the time and vanilla 20%. Chocolate in my shop is black walnut and vanilla is maple or white oak. Only 10% of my sales are for an exotic wood. Whether or not I fill the cracks, I consider bowties as an ornamental piece of jewelry for the slab. I'll be honest, my wife has a better aesthetic eye and most of the time she chooses the wood. If you take a look at my charcuterie boards, the bowties are purely ornamental and chosen to contrast or accentuate certain characteristics of the slab.
If you thinking about being a 10%er but not quite sure, reach out to me and I'll give you some suggestions. If I have a piece of furniture that is similar to the slab you're working with, I'll lay out some bowtie possibilities and send you the picts.
Make some sawdust,
The Wood Surgeon