Bird's Eye

Bird's eye figuring occurs most commonly in hard maple, and consists of small swirls (resembling eyes) being interspersed throughout the wood in varying frequencies. Typically, the value of the material increases with heavier concentrations of these "eyes".


The mottled effect occurs when a wood's wavy grain coalesces with its spiral, interlocked grain to create the blotchy appearance for which it is aptly named. When presenting with a regular, checkerboard-like pattern, the resultant figure is referred to as "Block Mottle".


A fiddleback/flame/tiger/curly figure is the result of wood fiber distortion, which creates wavy "flame" lines perpendicular to the wood grain. Material with this figure is highly sought after in the musical instrument manufacturing industry for its beautiful appearance.


Often likened to the surface of a puddle during a rainshower, Pommele figuring consists of numerous densely-packed ripples, and frequently exibits a suede-like appearance. Domestic species with a similar, but wider figure are referred to as "Blistered".


Quilted figuring occurs in some species due to a grain pattern distortion, which gives the material a 3-dimensional, bubbled appearance. As with fiddleback, wood with a quilted figure is highly coveted for use in musical instruments due to its desirable appearance.


A burl is a rounded growth, which forms on a tree that has undergone a stressful event of some sort. Burls are filled with small knots of dormant buds, and possess an erratic grain that creates a heavy figure, and makes it popular for decorative applications.

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