Texture Artistry featuring Ric Erkes


Kim Mehta

Today I want to share another amazing customer project from Ric Erkes. Ric used an Australian Red Coolibah burl cap. He shared with me the process he went through in order to acheive this result. Texture Artistry is often used in conjunction with woodturning to enhance the piece and make it unique:

"I am a member of the North Carolina and Southern Piedmont Woodturning clubs.  I’ve been turning for a hobby for over 20 years.   I’m always willing to explain the process.

First, go to West Penn and buy a nice burl!  Then let it sit (sometimes for years) while you decide you are good enough and motivated to turn it.  ?   In my case, two years was about right when I decided to do an off center bowl with carved surface leaves emanating from the rim.


The top picture shows the bowl turned and the leaves just randomly laid out.  Once the leaves were drawn, the outline was carved about an 1/8” deep (right side of picture).  The leaves in the lower middle are rough shaped with depth added.  The leaves on the left side of the bowl are then textured with the carver and various carving bits shown.​​​​​​​

The second picture shows a close up of the rough texture.  The leaves are just a figment of my imagination, not trying to carve a specific species.   Eventually, the leaves were undercut, sanded, and lightly burnt to make them ‘pop’.


The bottom was ‘reverse mounted’ and turned as a compromise between getting rid of weight and showing off the grain and texture of the burl.  The sharp spikes of the burl cap were lightly sanded to round them over for a more comfortable handling.

The final piece was finished with a rub on poly mixed with boiled linseed oil to bring out the grain and top coated with Polyurethane."

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Thanks Ric for sharing this with all of us! I have been receiving emails from many customers who we will be highlighting in the upcoming days. If you are interested in sharing your work and process please email pictures and details to info@westpennhardwoods.com.

Happy Woodturning!!

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