This Manzanita piece is Cracked Orb. It is a very difficult wood to process. It contains pockets of dirt and rocks which quickly dulls tools. Once the battle with Manzanita is complete, the reward is a beautiful piece. The size of Cracked Orb is 7.5 diameter by 7 inches high.
Manzanita burl is a beautiful wood. It produces the best organic pieces. It is very difficult to fabricate as it contains rocks, sand, dirt, voids and sometimes bugs. Wood doesn’t get much prettier than Manzanita. As I struggle with each piece I promise not to turn with this wood again. However, when complete there is no question that I will punish myself again.
I purchase Manzanita from a logger in California who harvests after a wildfire. Manzanita is a protected species that can be sourced from dead trees.
Hollow Form Style
This Manzanita piece is a Hollow Form. The opening is smaller than the body. To make a piece like this takes practice to develop the skill set. The maker cannot see the wood he is removing from inside walls. Calipers and sound are the best indicators if things are working. This style of turning was invented by David Ellsworth in the 1970’s. At the time wood turning was exclusively for making utilitarian items. This method created the art movement in wood turning.
Here is another example of a Hollow Form Age Spots
I produce my art in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. My primary tool is the wood lathe. Once I create the form on the lathe additional operations and necessary to develop the piece into its final form. This may require carving, piercing, pyrography which is wood burning with a red hot wire and finally finishing with a protective coating. At times I will spend more time at the workbench than I did at the lathe.