Ickibana turned from Buckeye Burl, with water-holding pin barrel (#4)
March 14, 2021
The ickibana that appears here has been turned from a beautiful but 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 (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 (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.
The walls of the turning are very thin and delicate, and exquisite to the touch. The finish, after sealing, is Danish oil (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.
Prices for woodturnings are determined in all cases by the cost of wood (some are very expensive, e.g., Maidou Burl, Camphor Burl, Cocobolo, Snakewood, Manzanita Burl, African Blackwood, Olivewood), and by the technical difficulty (and thus time required) for the turning…and of course what I judge to be the degree of success!