The Story of The Maple Burl Natural Edge Bowl
My buddy Jonathan from Ancient Arborist showed up with most of a maple tree to Red Rocks Community College, where I teach Woodturning. Mark Duvall, another woodturning teacher and I went outside, and we started looking through some of the pile. Mark looked at that burl. He said, this thing’s garbage, throw it away, nobody is ever gonna buy this thing.
I said “wait a minute, let me look at that guy.”
If you saw the void on the side of it, there was a rock inside the piece– a burl had grown around the rock. I had to turn as close as I could to the shape that I wanted, then I had to go in with a hammer and a chisel to break out the rock to finish my piece.
This burl was another one that I let 5 or 6 guys take a look at, nobody wanted it, they didn’t think it could be turned into something beautiful. I take those unwanted pieces of wood and I make htem into something that people will want to pass down their grandkids.
Some of it is the challenge, when you tell me I can’t do something, I’m gonna try twice as hard. Maybe I have a little bit further of a vision to see what’s inside.
Woodworking is a lot like breaking into a geode, you never know what’s going to be inside until you try it, but if you you don’t try, you’ll never know.
I’m not so concerned about failure. But if I don’t try, that’s when I’ve let myself down. It not always about the end result, its about the road getting there. Sometimes its windy and dark, sometimes there’s a dead end.
There’s a quote by John Jordan that goes, “Life’s too short to turn shitty wood” but I don’t believe there’s any such thing as shitty wood.
What do you think? Please feel free to let me know your thoughts, comments and questions in the comment section below.
- Natural Edge
- Finished with wipe-on Poly