Sculptural Form of Red Mallee Burl
Created by Eric Reeves
Reeves becomes increasingly interested, if not obsessed, with the possibilities presented by Australian burl caps. Virtually all come from the many species of Eucalyptus native to Australia, and are quite expensive. They are very heavy, dense, and hard woods, but yield extraordinary color and figure, as in this perfect piece of Red Mallee burl. It has perfect symmetry, which is rare and exception color, even for Red Mallee. Because the wood is so hard, and because the natural edge is preserved in turning, it is dangerous to work without complete attention to the rotating edge. It is a bit like woodturning with a serrated blade constantly rotating near the hand working the turning tool on the tool rest, which has been extended to minimize the chance of contact between the wood and the hand that is doing its best to fashion it into a perfect sculptural form. But the hardness of the wood had many benefits as well, not least the superb finish it permits. This in turn highlights both the color and figure of the wood.