Sculptural form turned from Australian Red Mallee Burl

March 26, 2021

Over the past two+ decades, woodturners have turned increasingly to sculptural forms for inspiration. I have resisted the trend to a considerable degree, but with certain exotic woods--especially burls--the sculptural becomes irresistible. Indeed, sometimes it's a function of necessity, as with the sculptural form here. The depth of the Red Mallee Burl slice, as well as the configuration of the edges of the slice, largely dictated what I have created here. One way of looking at it is so see a "bowl within a bowl," the inner bowl beginning where the narrowness of the slice dictates.

Like all of the Mallee Burls, Red Mallee is extremely hard and dense, and difficult to turn. Great care must be taken when working near the fast-rotating edge, since it can cut almost as effectively as table saw!. But the hardness of the wood makes for a sensational finish. Combined with the fabulous figure that distinguish these burls, Red Mallee is one of the world's great turning woods.

9" at its widest; 6" a its narrowest; 3" h