What is Burr wood  (Burl, USA name)

‘Burr’ wood is consider the ‘best of the best’ coming from a special growth on the tree, that creates beautiful, abstract and chaotic grain patterns and colours.


Normally the growths are found on the lower part of the tree and root system and resemble knobbly bulges. Every tree contains dormant buds which have all the genetic information so if the tree is damaged the dormant buds are brought into action repairing the tree like a bandage and it is this that creates the burr and this random grain pattern.



Walnut plantations are a great source of burrs, the tree have limited nut production life and they are then harvested for their burr woods.




What is a Cluster

A Cluster or otherwise can be known as an Open Burr, is part Burr or contains nests of the Burr feature and is surrounded by swirling grain of the tree. The cluster can be more interesting than the full burr itself.

What is Figured wood

In wood, ‘figure’ refers to the appearance of wood, as seen on a longitudinal surface side-grain a "figured wood" is not plain. The figure is created in part by the grain in the wood and in part by the manner in which the wood is cut, this reveals the horizontal pattern running across the grain.


Our woods with the figure pattern include: Alder, Eucalyptus Pommele, Kasvinga, Fullbeck Walnut, Curly Maple, Maple Birds Eye, Swiss Pear and Tamo Ash.




What is Pommele wood

‘Pommele’ is the French term for dappled and it is especially apt for describing highly figured woods like Eucalyptus and Budinga when the so-called quilted looks are present.


There are many descriptions of the word Pommele from quilted pattern to the description that the effect resembles tinny apples or tear drops.




What is Crown cut or Flat cut


The veneer is flat cut off the log and this creates a cathedral shape the length of the log, the crowns being at the top


Some of our Crown cut examples are Aromatic Cedar, Ebony, Mango, Ebony, the Oak’s and Ziricote




What is Quarter Cut


The log is cut into quarters then sliced, vertically across the wood growth rings, creating stripe pattern on the wood veneer  or uniformly vertical straight wood grain


Our  Padouk is an example of a quarter cut




What is Rotary cut


A few decorative veneers are rotary cut (or peeled) in order to reveal the particular growth characteristic that is close to the outside of the log.  Bird’s Eye Maple, for instance, is almost always cut in this way.

In addition some smaller growing species such as Birch are often rotary cut; otherwise the individual leafs of veneer would be very narrow.


Burr woods are cut in a similar method, the cutting effect is like using a pencil sharpener.




What is Book Matching?


There are lots of methods of matching the veneer together but we normally

‘book match’

 To book match our books we first number each leaf, then we turn every other wood veneer leaf so that the colour and grain match, creating a mirrored effect.






Veneer is obtained either by "peeling" the trunk of a tree or by slicing large rectangular blocks of wood known as flitches. The appearance of the grain and figure in wood comes from slicing through the growth rings of a tree and depends upon the angle at which the wood is sliced. A slicing machine in which the flitch or piece of log is raised and lowered against the blade and slices of the log are made. This yields veneer that looks like sawn pieces of wood, cut across the growth rings; such veneer is referred to as "crown cut".

  • A half-round lathe in which the log or piece of log can be turned and moved in such a way as to expose the most interesting parts of the grain, creating a more textured feel and appearance; such veneer is commonly referred to as "rift cut."

Each slicing processes gives a very distinctive type of grain, depending upon the tree species. In any of the veneer-slicing methods, when the veneer is sliced, a distortion of the grain occurs. As it hits the wood, the knife blade creates a "loose" side where the cells have been opened up by the blade, and a "tight" side.