Hollow vessel turned from Buckeye Burl, with a (fixed) African Blackwood finial

January 6, 2021

This small hollow form shows the variety of Buckeye Burl; the African Blackwood finial gives it a defining form (African Blackwood, a gorgeous dark member of the Rosewood family, is the premier detail wood used by woodturners). Buckeye is a beautiful but often very challenging piece of Buckeye Burl. Buckeye and related species are native to the eastern and western United States. Much of it comes from California, hence the name of this species. The timber from California and Oregon is not particularly interesting underground, but in its burl (aboveground) 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 (in this piece of Buckeye Burl, a stone was absorbed as well, creating immense difficulties for my woodturning tools, which had to be re-sharpened constantly!). 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.

5"h x 2.5" dia