Vessel of Buckeye Burl, with African Blackwood base, inlay, and finial

October 19, 2022

This highly detailed and delicately turned vessel has been turned from a beautiful piece of Buckeye Burl, with a small inlay and finial of African Blackwood. African Blackwood, a member of the Rosewood family, is the premier detail wood available to woodturners.

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, with a palette of grays, whites, blacks, and some brown and orange. This all comes 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 vessel was finely sanded and sealed; after sealing, Danish oil was 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" high x 2" dia