Display form of Buckeye Burl

January 26, 2024

This display form has been turned from a spectacular slice of piece of Buckeye Burl. It is to thin for much of its surface to be trurned on a lathe, but mounted as appears here, it gives a full sense of the range and palette of Buckeye. Front and back are both equally, if very differently, amazing.

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 once above ground, Buckeye burl more than makes up for this: the wood is soft, witha palette of grays, whites, blacks, and some brown and orange. This all comesfrom 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 piece was finely sanded and sealed; after sealing,Danish oil was rubbed into the wood, followed by hand-rubbing with acombination of carnauba and beeswax in a light solvent. This finish has what I think is a very light and transparent quality. It has been mounted on a stained (black cherry) hardwood rectangle, with poplar supports.

Dimensions of mounted form:

14” high x 1.5” (widest) x 3” at thickest (but quickly tapers toward the top)