Friday, March 25, 2011

Mesmerizing Maple Burl

Valley weather is something sure to keep one’s mind alive to all that it has to offer. We started the week off in the high 70’s and will end it in the 50’s. Calm balmy days to horrific wind storms oh my! Studio doors wide open to rekindling the old “Defiant” again.  Debbie, wife of The WoodArt Studio artist Steve, as she is known in some inner circles, took advantage of the pleasant outside climate and planted a row of onions and two rows of lettuce in the garden. Gathering of kindling wood is an on going project for the next winter season and is a pleasure to do as we traverse through the property always on the lookout for another pretty piece of wood that could be carved or turned into the next bowl or spoon.       

Oh the joyous wonders that comes out from the studio. Amongst the many things that we packed into the 32 foot trailer that had shipped from NY to VA was wood. Cocobolo, Maple, Cedar, thank you Maryann & John, Ebony, Cherry, Cottonwood Bark and Maple Burls just to name a few..

Today I want to introduce you to Maple Burl. A tree growth that has a grain growing in a deformed manner will become what is known as a burl and can quite often but not always be found to grow on the trunk or branch of the tree. Because highly figured burls are hard to find they are a captured prize for the woodturner. Steve was lucky with this piece that traveled with us to VA. Burl wood is very hard to work with on the lathe or with hand tools because its grain is misshapen and not straight. Patience was a virtue in this case, for what started out as a lump of burl was transformed into this mesmerizing bowl.

#305 Maple Burl

Mounted on the lathe it was first turned down to its basic shape, while still keeping the natural edge. Sanding on the lathe was done next. Once it was removed fine hand sanding is done with a coat of food safe oil in between each rubbing. Finally the finished piece (9 ½ x 3”, at its highest edge) created just for you. It is so finely crafted that I wanted to keep it but Steve said NO! So to market we go unless you want to own it first. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that is why I only posted one picture otherwise this would become a short story instead of a blog post. So if you want to see more email me at or see us at the market.

1 comment:

  1. A nice gentleman purchased this as a wedding gift for his sister. Lucky sister.