70.5lb Manzanita Burl Bowl (2014-#25) with making of video.

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Project by Eric M. Saperstein posted 08-06-2014 07:43 PM 2809 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“From Brush to Bowl” – turning a 70.5lb manzanita root ball (burl) into a unique artistic bowl. Video for fun/educational purposes the standard disclaimers of this should only be done by professionals apply.

The making of video … final dimensions about 18” x 9”

Sourced in California, this scrub tree (brush) is being bulldozed to clear fire breaks and help prevent wildfires. It’s a green and renewable resource that is unique, beautiful, and vibrant. No two bowls, vessels, or turnings are ever alike as no two pieces of manzanita are ever alike.

This piece started out at 70.5lbs, now weighing in at 34lbs it is still drying. We would estimate it will be down to around 30lbs by the time the water weight evaporates off. The first coat of finish is applied and will help slow the drying to stabilize it.

This piece will be on display at Fortuna Fine Arts, LLC in Manhattan this coming October for an event to be announced shortly; a wide assortment of Artisans Turnings will be debuted at this event. Please stand by for a new spinoff website (shown in the title slides) which should be coming online later this week.

Thanks to everyone for their ongoing support!

Eric M. Saperstein
Master Craftsman
Artisans of the Valley

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

14 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4040 days

#1 posted 08-06-2014 08:18 PM

Looks like a piece of lava thrown your way still with the fiery glow to the inside,
what a fabulous piece of art Eric, obviously by the weight a very dense timber.
I can see this selling for real money.
hats off for this one

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Underdog's profile


1724 posts in 3253 days

#2 posted 08-06-2014 08:22 PM

I’m anxious for you Eric. A face shield might not be enough protection against one of these pieces of wood if it explodes at speed, but it would be a lot more protection than those glasses, and may just save your life. Please. Invest in a good face shield and wear it. And stand out of the line of fire!

That being said, that’s a fine looking bowl. Hope you make many more!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View Woodstock's profile


265 posts in 4505 days

#3 posted 08-06-2014 08:44 PM

Underdog- You beat me to it. I was going to say the exact same thing. Use a full face shield anytime it is turning. (GRIN) Better yet on something so fragile at high speed maybe a ordnance bomb suit may be in order. At least stand off to one side out of the line of fire.

Been there. Done that while inadvertently trying to put a small fragment of a self destructing turning into low earth orbit. Scary moment I’d rather not repeat soon…..

But it is a beautiful turning.


-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4465 days

#4 posted 08-06-2014 10:37 PM

Yes – I know! I gotta start using my chainsaw hardhat with the built in face mesh shield more often. I hate things in front of my face that fog up.

I actually don’t run super fast with these, it cuts pretty well going at a reasonably slow speed with the big ones. No vibration at all, the machine did VERY well.

A few have broken up on me, they mostly send chunks over my head that are not that big or moving very fast. I’ve been beaned a few times with small ones and its not really all that bad. I just hate things hanging off me, shoved in me, etc.

I put up with ear protection when shooting cause obviously if you don’t it will be unquestionably hearing damage. Pretty much religiously wear glasses.

The bowl is coming out pretty cool – pondering its value so we can bring it to market.

Six more blanks coming on Friday – we have a gallery to stock up by labor day weekend, and then the event in October. Looking for more outlets. The existing collection is on tour, I think it’s currently in New Haven.

More to follow on the event in NYC shortly – opening October 9th (Thursday) afternoon for the artist meet/greet and into Friday open house. Then I think it’s going to be by appointment.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4404 days

#5 posted 08-07-2014 01:24 AM

Very nice, very,very nice.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View BobWemm's profile


3015 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 08-07-2014 06:13 AM

Eric, that is an awesome piece of wood. Absolutely beautiful and stunning colours.
Thanks for showing.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

837 posts in 5050 days

#7 posted 08-07-2014 07:39 AM


-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View Ken90712's profile


18058 posts in 4406 days

#8 posted 08-07-2014 08:14 AM

What an amazing peice. Always great to see your work! A+ as always.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DocSavage45's profile


9068 posts in 4060 days

#9 posted 08-08-2014 02:54 AM

Very _ Very nice piece Eric.

I think we had this saftey conversatin before dude! It only takes on piece of wood to put your freekin eye out! GRRRRR!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4465 days

#10 posted 08-08-2014 01:55 PM

I do have glasses on! My eyebrow is blue plastic! I got a few descent pairs of frameless safety glasses I those better as they are tight to the eye socket and have little obstruction of vision. I just can’t deal with the face shields hanging, though yes I should use the mesh one.

I gotta order a new batch, these are getting scratched, I should get a felt thing to put them in but they end up around the shop and they get splashed with finish from the lathe too.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View DocSavage45's profile


9068 posts in 4060 days

#11 posted 08-08-2014 05:30 PM

Ok…..I’ll stand down. LOL! As I get older I am more appreciative of continuing to grow and do things in wood. Just know that the tools we use are for cutting, tearing,shaving, pounding, etc. it allows us to be creative through our violent side. Just can’t be careless or disrespectful?

Looking forward to your creations coming to life.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4465 days

#12 posted 08-30-2014 07:20 PM

Well – we’ll see what I get myself into with these. Getting ready to be palatalized in CA for shipment our way.

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3778 days

#13 posted 08-30-2014 07:46 PM


If you are coming thru Iowa I would love to buy a few from you.
I have seen this turned before and it looks wonderful.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Eric M. Saperstein's profile

Eric M. Saperstein

766 posts in 4465 days

#14 posted 08-30-2014 08:29 PM

The route is all up to UPS … it becomes my problem when the truck pulls up to unstrap the pallet and toss it all into the back of a pickup.

Don’t worry Doc I always have glasses on, and I’ll probably add the mesh shield to the mix as given this pile of burls coming who knows what’s gonna go flying. There’s less protection on the outboard. It seems a lot of things smack the bed or the tool rest. There’s no bed with the outboard!

I’m looking into some metal/carbon fiber tool handles and some heavier duty tools. I am thinking of just ordering some flat stock of D2 Tool steel and welding it to bar stock cold steel for handles. Then making a flat top tool rest for the new floor stand setup. Something say where the tool tip is the normal 1 1/4” or 1 1/2” scraper, then it welds to a 3” piece of flat stock then down again to a normal handle size. That way I can lay the flat wide section against another perpendicular piece of 3” flat steel as a tool rest. I then get 3” x 3” or 9 square inches of surface flat holding the tool down in place. I could go a step further and build a trap to hold it so it could really never pop up on me.

I also have to wire in my remote switch now for the lathe so I can have an off switch close to the tool stand.

A few preparations are going to be needed so this can hit the ground running. Shopping for tool steel now to make these tools. I don’t need fancy I can fix them up as time goes on. Even if I just wrap the handle in cotton rope and tape the ends down. Eventually I can have a leather handle made or turn a wooden handle.

Several ideas pending …

-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman

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