Timber in jewellery? Well not just any timber, but timber with
properties, such as burls, will add an extra dimension to your work.
These woods are beautiful, and full of character. In fact I won an
opal jewellery competition, by not only using a nice pair of opals,
but by incorporating a red Mallee burl within the piece.
Just a little bit of background to burl timber. A burl is figured
wood with an intricate pattern within the grain of the timber. It is
usually very dense. Very few trees have burls in them, and those
trees contain only 10% burl wood, the rest is plain timber. It is
also becoming hard to get. A burl cannot be forced, it just has to be
The above are some examples of Australian burls, both images are of
the same pieces of wood, however in one image the wood has been
rotated 90 degrees. There is quite a lot of variation in the timber.
Maybe burls aren't your cup of tea, Americans are very fortunate in
that they are close to managed plantations in Brazil that can provide
some extremely beautiful timbers. Purple heart, black heart, stripe
wood (pink stripes in a cream coloured wood), and blood wood are my
favorite Brazilian timbers. All have very distinctive colours, and
most are hard woods.
There are many other materials that can be used in jewellery, wood
is just one.
Regards Charles A.
P. S. I regularly trade timber with some of my American friends