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Age Spots

This Manzanita piece is Age Spots.  Manzanita is a difficult wood to turn. There are pockets of dirt and rocks which dulls tools requiring frequent sharpening.  Once the battle with Manzanita is complete the reward is a beautiful piece.  The size of Age Spots is 6 inch diameter by 4 high.

Manzanita burl is a beautiful wood with loads of character. It produces the great organic pieces. Wood doesn’t get much prettier than Manzanita. When I struggle turning each piece I find myself cursing and swear this is the last time. However, when the piece is complete and I see the results there is no question that I will punish myself again.

I purchase Manzanita from a logger in California who harvests after a wildfire.

This Manzanita piece is a known as a Hollow Form. The opening at the top is smaller than the width of the body.  It takes practice to develop the skill set to make a piece like this. The turner cannot see the amount of wood he is removing from the inside walls. Calipers and sound patterns are indicators if things are going well. This type of turning was developed by David Ellsworth in the 1970’s. At the time woodturning was about making utilitarian items. This primarily included bowls and vases. This method became the paradigm for the art movement in wood turning.

Here is another example of an incredible Manzanita Hollow Form.


I produce my art in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. My primary tool is the wood lathe.  With this device I am able to create the form which will be completed at the workbench.  This requires several techniques including carving, piercing, painting, staining and finishing.  To complete a bowl more time may be spent at the bench than was at the wood lathe.


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