Trapeze is an extension of the Morph Series

Some of the most beautiful and figurative wood a tree can produce is referred to as “crotch burl,” the section where the main trunk divides into two or more main upper limbs. Split it down the middle, lop off the top branches and separate it from the lower trunk, and you reveal the burl. This figurative wood extends back into the main tree only 2 to 3 inches depending on the mature size of the tree.

Half the story

Acquiring this piece of wood was half the story. Near our home, while living in Ohio, the road was being widened and many trees were flagged for removal. Among them was a beautiful black walnut. I made arrangements (beer money) with the contractor to contact me when the tree was ready to be taken down.

A fellow wood artist assisted in downing this giant and we split the spoils , according to our own particular interest. While cutting it up, I got the bright idea that instead of splitting the crotch as is customary, I would turn it 90° and cut through the upper limb and down into the trunk end. Turns out that was a lucky choice because instead of getting only 3 inches of figurative wood, I got 6 inches plus.

Designing Trapeze was as much presenting Nature’s inherent beauty as it was my melding with it. Hanging as a wall sculpture, the piece is oriented as the trees stood, lower trunk at bottom, upper limbs spreading at top. It curls over at top, sides and bottom – following the natural curvature of the tree and providing an unusual, lovely profile as it lays away from the wall.


18″ H, 14″ W, 3″ D


Creating this piece