4 Typologies of precious wood (Burls, Figured, Pomelle, Bird’s eyes): how to recognize it

The precious wood presents three-dimensionality… a gift of Nature

What makes the wood precious? Can you recognize it? First of all, let’s distinguish between precious and valuable wood: the valuable wood is linked to the demand/ supply ratio.

The precious wood presents three-dimensionality such as the Burls, Figured, Pomelle, Bird’s eyes.

These three-dimensional patterns represent the best artistic expressions of Nature and they are a “gift”, a rarity, expressive randomness, by being linked to particular environmental conditions, growth areas or not ponderable factors.

These three-dimensional patterns impressed in the fibre in the dyeing process are enhanced and the wood offers shimmering reflections such as silk or velvet.

Let’s do this in an orderly fashion!

  1. The Burls are excrescence, protuberances situated not necessarily close to the roots, as usually believed. They are the gift of Nature par excellence. They contain an irregular and energetic development of the wood fibre, in volutes and circular “eyes” called “Burl eyes”. The Burl three-dimensionally can characterize different wood species, e.g. Walnut or Ash.
  2. The termFigured describes overlapping stripes generated inside the trunk collapsing under its own weight.
  3. With the term Pomelépomme (apple) we indicate a pommelé effect with circular and soft volutes along all the trunk of the tree.
  4. Let’s close with the Bird’s eyes. A wood species showing, par excellence, these eyes is the American Maple or Bird’s Eye Maple. This three-dimensionality offers this semblance, but birds have little to do with it. The eyes are originated from a natural phenomenon that is from the footprints left by the drops of frozen sap during the rigid North-American winters. A seasonal phenomenon characterized by strong temperature changes, year after year.