WHAT ARE BURLS, YOU ASK? They are round large mooseball-looking things growing on trees....seriously...they are simply tree growths in which the grains have grown in a deformed manner. This is caused by either a fungus, virus or injury and results in irregular and highly figured wood grain. Trees with burls are usually found in clusters.
BURL HABITAT Burls are found everywhere here in Alaska. Well technically in the woods where the trees are, which is mostly everywhere in the part of Alaska we live - slightly north of Fairbanks. We spot them everywhere until we actually go out to harvest them. Then they seem to disappear…..
BURL HUNTING & HARVESTING We go quietly into the woods like ninjas and we sneak up on the unsuspecting burls. We spend hours deep in the forest or until our mosquito spray wears off. We drag out as many fallen trees with burls on them as my wife can haul. Then I drive the truck (cause its my truck) back to base camp where I let her unload them from the truck into the storage facility.
BURL HOARDING We harvest the burls all summer ( 3 weeks tops) and store them over the long arctic winter to dry in our state of the art climate controlled top secret facility (our heated garage on every single shelf and every possible empty space we find).
BURL LOVE & BOWLS Now that I have a garage full of burls, I feel better. I can spend all winter long turning the burls when they are dry enough to make bowls (except on Sundays, Monday nights and sometimes on Thursday nights- cause you know- football). Each burl is unique and I never know what I am doing or how it will turn out, kind of like life in general.
No trees and very few humans are harmed in any step of the burl hunting and bowl making process!
ORDER FORM. Just put the bowl number in your message or subject line and we will whip out an invoice to your email! You can then pay using a secure system with either a credit card or Paypal.
If you want more picture of any bowl before you decide to order- just ask !
Bowls for $90.00 to $125.00
We love wood. We never cut down live healthy trees just for the burls and we never cut burls off of trees- that is cruel and bad manners. We find trees that have died over the winter, been blown over by wind storms, or tree tops have broken off with burls on them. The little lady hauls them out of the woods like a trooper. I stay on the look out for bears and can run faster than her, so I am ok- don't worry. We always have a good romp in the woods and never leave anything behind!
12 July 2021: Check out or new bowls!! If you see something you're interested in and would like additional photos, please let us know.
All bowls are identified by date completed, species of wood and individually numbered with the name of the maker on the bottom of the bowl.
Every bowl is made by me. I first look at the burl, pick it up, look at it some more, and decide how to work with the wood to make an interesting bowl. I make each bowl using a lathe and a ton of hand sanding. I would buy a bigger lathe and make bigger bowls, but my accountant (wife) says I have to sell some bowls first.
UPDATE: I took matters into my own hands, I dipped into my accountant’s new Subaru fund. I now have the lathe of my dreams!
Back to my process, I make each bowl by hand on the lathe with no templates or clue in my head as to how it will turn out. The form comes out of the burl as I work it. No custom orders as every burl is like a snowflake; unique and may not make it through the winter. I spend hours on each bowl, but sometimes, they just fly off the lathe and into the burn bin. Not all burls can become bowls. Some are just knuckle busters and handy bloodletting devices.