These are two maple vurl bowls I’m working on. I don’t realoly know how to turn yet, so I start these with a chain saw and follow up with a grinder with a chain saw blade on it. As with all sharp tools, paying attention is the key to a long life and happy limbs!

Al Villadson and i were riding around his property looking for a suitable tree for a sculpture which is going in the county fairgrounds, when we spotted these 2 burls. One, the larger, ¬†was on a branch, which we needed to just cut off. The other was in the middle of a tree. I always hesitate to cut a healthy tree just because I want one of it’s parts, Al has no such qualms. “I’ve got a lot of trees—won’t even miss it.” And it was a young, thin tree.
The sculptural tree, a white pine, was a different story. At about 150′ tall and 3′ across at the base, this 80 year old tree had definitely been enjoying the view happily for some time. A; was nonplussed: “Won’t even miss it. Gives young trees a chance.” A quarter mile away, an eagle nestinging in a similar white pine, was casting nervous glances our way. A chain saw is just too fast for nature to understand. So it goes.

About the author

Craig is technically an outsider artist, having no schooling or apprentice training in the arts. His background is in building and remodeling, but always with an artistic approach. This history lends itself to creating art which is also functional. Many of the tables, kitchens and beds he has made are clever and beautiful combinations of the natural edge and graining with specific functionality. He specializes in creating for those who have a specific corner or room in the house which needs attention. Also, he has been making handmade coffins, urns and memorials since the 80's. People often get their coffins ahead of time and store them. Familiar with the laws of Michigan, Craig is able to design and execute anything people want, however, creative or simple.