A Slow Unfolding 2

CHRISTIAN BURCHARD

Material and Technique
Bleached Madrone Root
Cut, Sandblasted, Bleached
15” H x 16” W x 24” D

Statement About The Work
In the series I work with the band saw. They are cut from green blocks of wood and dried. Each form is a direct result of the underlying grain structure, it's own personality. Working this way allows me a freedom and pleasure I did not feel while working with dry and stable wood, and this freedom is very important to me. It keeps me challenged and often surprised. It makes me feel that I am working together with my material, not trying to subdue or control it.

I work just about exclusively with Pacific Madrone from the Arbutus family. My favorite parts are the burls that grow within the roots of these trees. They are harvested for the veneer market and I use the rejects from this harvest. These burls often weigh many thousand pounds. To make them usable, the dirt and rocks have to be removed, then they can be cut into blocks. By working with wet wood with a high water content and by cutting or turning my forms very thin, I take advantage of and encourage the changes that occur as the wood dries. As the water evaporates and leaves the cells, the wood shrinks, warps, splits. Depending on how those cells were aligned in its structure, some very dynamic changes occur.





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