Good Wood: Burl
Burl. Some of the most beautiful and prized wood carvings produced for use have been made from burl wood. The jumbo redwood burl shown on this postcard is an extreme example and probably netted the 1970's hippies here a considerable sum. A profitable way to spend a summer. You've seen burl wood without knowing it...the funky, fungoid looking growths on elm and maple trunks, out west on redwood. When chopped and formed, those ugly growths make the hardest, tightest and most beautiful woodenware. Both Native American and colonial carvers made bowls, scoops and ladles of the dense and textured material. Folk art dealer and scholar Steven S. Powers, a bright young man with one of the best pair of eyes in the folk art world recently published a beautiful book "North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native American" and available on his website. Make SURE to download his extraordinary catalog "Good Wood" on the same site, it has many exceptional examples of early American folk art.
The burl above is described as follows: " We believe this to be the world's largest burl, approximately 118 feet around, 30 feet high and weighing just less of 1 million pounds. It was uncovered in fall of 1977 at Big Lagoon in northern California on Louisiana Pacific property"
The card was distributed by Burlwood Industries Inc, a company still in business and making beautiful craft and sculptural objects.
Burlwood Industries "world's largest burl" Advertising Post card 6" x 9" c. 1980 collection Jim Linderman