No, Burl doesn’t have anything to do with being cold. It is all about beautiful wood. Some new burl aspen vessels by Jerry Wedekind are arriving in time for holiday shopping. We get so many questions about the type of wood and what exactly burl means it was time to give you a little explanation. A burl is a tree growth or by-product of environmental- or human-caused stress in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner.
Some are in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch filled with small knots from dormant buds. Burls can also grow beneath the ground attached to the roots and discovered when the tree dies or falls over. In some tree species, burls can grow to enormous size adding to the challenge and expense of removing the burl from its natural habitat to the woodworker’s studio.
For artists like Jerry Wedekind, Elmer Jacobs and Vinny Luciani at Hunter-Wolff Gallery, burls yield a very peculiar and figured wood that are highly prized for interesting patterns and rich color. The low occurrence rate of burls adds to their value and collectability.
Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s three wood-turners covet burls for their beauty, but the art of creating with them requires patience and special skills. Burl wood is very hard to work in a lathe or with hand tools because its grain is not straight but misshapen. The highly desirable irregular patterns of burl wood make it harder to saw, chisel, and cut without splitting the wood or accidentally cutting it in the wrong direction.
Stop in soon and let us tell you more about this incredibly beautiful wood!