Buckeye Burl vessel with inlay and finial of African Blackwood
March 23, 2021
This vessel, turned from Buckeye Burl and African Blackwood, represents what I think is my technically and aesthetically most accomplished turning of the past 25 years. A ring of African Blackwood, the premier detailwood available to woodturners, has been inlaid, and inside that, another piece of Buckeye has been inlaid. The African Blackwood finial completes the design.
Buckeye and related species are native to the eastern and western United States. Much of it comes from California, hence the botanical name of this species (Aesculus californica). The timber from California and Oregon is not particularly interesting underground, but in its burl (above ground) form, Buckeye more than makes up for this: the wood is soft, with a palette of grays, whites, blacks,and some brown and orange. This all comes all from the oxidizing of underground minerals the burl has absorbed. The patterns that are generated by these colors are simply spectacular, like no other burl wood in the world. The variations and shapes in the figure are endlessly fascinating.
The walls of the turning have been very finely sanded and sealed. After sealing, Danish oil is heat-rubbed into the wood, followed by hand-rubbing with a combination of carnauba and beeswax in a light solvent. This finish has what I think is a very light and transparent quality.
8.5" dia x 7.5" h