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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Man! Love that Manzanita Burl !


One of my woodturning quests is to find burls of as many North American (and other) species as I can. I'm always on the hunt for a new favorite. My latest acquisition is a good-sized Manzanita burl, from California. Manzanita burls are infamous for being composed of as much air as wood, being peppered with voids, holes, and drying cracks. They can also contain gravel, rocks, and other fun things that endear these burls to a woodturner who just sharpened his turning tools.

But these "minor inconveniences" can be well worth the effort to overcome them (well, at least to accept them). The blood red color of fresh Manzanita gets your heart thumping, and is a treat to see for the first, oh, maybe one or two hundred times (I'm not up to that count yet though).

Here's the first bowl I've turned from my latest botanical love ...

"From the Earth",  Manzanita Burl Bowl

"From the Earth"

This piece required a fairly delicate touch while turning it on the lathe, for fear that a chunk would fly off due to all the cracks in it.

But it's all those cracks and other natural defects that make "From the Earth" so appealing to me. The finished piece conjures up thoughts of an ancient pottery remnant unearthed by an archaeology professor who now is content to retire, having just found his prize.

"From the Earth",  Manzanita Burl Bowl

The turning went fairly smoothly, but great care had to be taken to avoid breaking the bowl. It was rewarding to see the results sitting on the bench though.

"From the Earth" is available for purchase at Bowlwood


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