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About Manzanita
The bases for many of the sculptures are the root burl of the manzanita bush. Manzanita grows abundantly in the high dry mountains of Southern California and Mexico. Back in the 70’s the burls were a bi-product of the clearance of firebreaks. In the creation of a fire-break if only the above ground branches of the manzanita are removed the bush sprouts back rapidly from the burl. To prevent this fire departments would often plough up the burls, bulldoze them into huge piles and burn them. I have heard of piles as large as a house that burned for a week.Since then manzanita has come to be recognized and valued by myself and other artists for its incredible beauty and variety of form. In the Studio skilled craftspeople, most of whom have been with me for many years, first examine each burl to determine its best use, then grade, cut, wax and polish it, and mount it with a sculpture to create what I feel is a happy marriage of the art of nature and man.Currently all of the manzanita used by the Studio is harvested on a sustainable yield basis from a single ranch in Mexico under strict governmental control. An environmental impact report had first to be proposed and guidelines for harvesting delineated. All the burls are dug on a selective basis by hand and carried out on foot or in wheelbarrows. The center of the burl is removed but pieces of root are always left and these rapidly grow back. Using these techniques ensures minimal environmental impact and a sustainable yield. We anticipate this one ranch to provide all our needs indefinitely.

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