Manzanita burl is certainly one of the favorite woods I work with. No other material can produce the organic nature of a piece as Manzanita. It is extremely difficult to fabricate as it contains rocks, sand, dirt, voids and sometimes creatures which quickly dull the cutting tools. The battle to tame a Manzanita Sphere Hollow Form is tedious, but the final result is well worth it. Every piece is a struggle and I promise not work with this wood again. But once complete I see the beauty in the piece. Wood doesn’t get much prettier than Manzanita. There is no question that I will continue to work with this wood.
I purchase this exotic wood from a licensed logger in California who harvests after a wildfire has destroyed the forest. Manzanita is a protected species as it should be.
Hollow Form Turning
The Manzanita Sphere Hollow Form piece shown here is known as a Hollow Form. This means that the opening is smaller than the width of the body. It takes practice and skill to produce a successful hollow form. Here is another example of a Hollow Form.
The artist cannot see the wood he is peeling away from inside the form to produce an even wall thickness. Calipers and the sound of the spinning wood are the best clues if things are going well. This concept was developed by David Ellsworth in the early 1970’s. This had a profound effect on woodturning previously used to make utilitarian items such as bowls. This new method of turning created an art movement in woodturning. See more information about David.
I design and produce all my art in my studio in Montvale, New Jersey, USA. Each piece is unique. Inspiration comes from Mother Nature and the great Master Artists such as Matisse, Magritte and Stella.