Material and Technique
Bleached Madrone Burl, Slate
34” H x 15” W x 12” D
About The Work
In this series, I use a simple form, in varying sizes. They are hollowed and allowed to dry, warp and naturally check. Each piece is different from the next. Soft tool marks are left, some are bleached and have pyrography (a burnt design on the surface). Select checks are reinforced with linen thread. Sometime the wood out of the actual root system of the Madrone tree is used, resulting in extreme distortion. By displaying them in multiples in varying sizes, I create families, relationships.
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.