A WORD ABOUT WOOD
Over the years some of the most-asked questions I receive are "What kind of wood do you use?"; "Where do you get it?"; "Is that the natural color?"; "Is this stone?"; "Is it driftwood?"; "Is this Ironwood?" - the list is endless. I'll try to answer these and other questions here in this "Word About Wood".
I use a great deal of California Buckeye Burl. It is not driftwood nor should it be confused with the Ohio Buckeye tree. The California Buckeye tree burl I use grows at the foothills of the Sierra Mountains near Sacramento California. It produces a burl that when lacquered and polished resembles stone. Depending on the length of aging, it can range from very light in color to a very dark gray. Some pieces have a marbled appearance, others more distressed and dappled. I've found that various "imperfections" in the burl can result in a more interesting sculpture. For all of its similarity to stone, it is a rather delicate wood and lends itself well to the refined structure of my work.
Cocobolo is a very hard wood oftentimes confused with Ironwood. However, Ironwood cannot begin to compete with the beauty in the grain of Cocobolo which is in the Rosewood family. As with most of my work, I let the wood speak for itself by enhancing it only with clear lacquer. Cocobolo is grown in Africa and Mexico. I find the grain to be more pronounced in the wood I get from Mexico.
Colorwood is fascinating to the onlooker and I'm often asked if I paint it. It is actually an engineered wood made with sheets of Birch vaneer precolored and laminated together at the factory. It comes in a wide variety of color combinations. I use several different color combinations in some of the smaller pieces like my hummingbirds.
Paralam is another engineered wood used primarily by the building industry for large structural beams. It consists of strands of wood glued together and pressurized at the factory. Using it in its natural state in my bird sculptures simulates the look of feathers. When I add a color wash to it, the light and dark variations in the natural color give it an interesting and attractive depth.
The Manzanita shrub is grown at elevations throughout the western United States. Only the roots are used as bases on my sculptures. Many of the roots are interestingly beautiful enough to be sculptures in and of themselves. After deep, thorough cleaning of the root, I apply lacquer, polish and mount the piece to it, then sign the base. When asked to personalize a piece, I can add a small message on the base as well.
NOTE: Color and grain of the woods vary from piece to piece, therefore there can never be two sculptures exactly alike.
Bruce Stamp ~ Wood Sculpture
9515 Lake View Drive
Atascadero, CA 93422
Phone: 805 466-4044
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