A burl results from the healing process of a tree undergoing some form of stress. It may be caused by an injury such as a lightning strike, broken branch, damage by insects, or a virus or fungus. Each tree responds to the healing in a different way and consequently produces a unique burl form. People sometimes limit their definition of a “burl” to only those which spontaneously generate without any visible injury, but we maintain the definition of burl as any growth of scar tissue resulting from a tree healing itself.
Creating an extraordinary piece of burl art is like producing an excellent wine. Decades working with wood has allowed Stinson Studios to develop ways of naturally aging wood for months or even years to produce their unique patterns and colors. With our strong commitment to the wilderness and the environment, we work only with wood that is reclaimed or selectively harvested.
We carve burl forms ranging in size from 6 inches, to 6 feet in diameter. The hardest skill to learn is how to “see” the possibilities and potential for a final form within the raw material. Navigating the unique undulations, cavities, flaws, and other characteristics within each burl is a skill that takes many years to master.
The smallest burl forms can be found in homes around the world and are often used as decorative vessels for keys, cell phones, change, jewelry, fruit, nuts, candies, and more. The larger burls are sculptural, used as beautiful statement pieces. While not as common, on occasion we do come across vessel burls, functional pieces that can be used for holding food or decorations, while maintaining the artistic, unique look of the sculptural form.
We have included some examples of past burls here, for you to get a feeling of the types of burls we have available. They range from small knots to large troughs, true vessels and gnarly, knotted roots. As each burl is incredibly one-of-a-kind, we ask that you please contact us if you are interested in purchasing a burl. We are happy to work with you to find the type of burl to suit your taste and space.