SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Schenectady gallery exhibit is highlighting the natural art of the Adirondack Park – one burl at a time. “Beauty of the Burl” by Don Williams opens this spring.
The exhibit, hosted by New York Folklore at 129 Jay St., highlights the shapes of burls, a type of rounded growth that develops on trees as the result of small knots building up from dormant buds. The ones on display are peeled by hand by Williams, and coated with varnish, a process that enhances the marble look that burls naturally exhibit.
Burls have practical uses, as well, with a history of use in wood turnings and furniture dating back hundreds of years. They come as small as a pea, and as large as a bathtub, as described by New York Folklore.
Williams has close knowledge of the trees of the Adirondacks. A former science teacher and school principal, the Northville native also served as an Adirondack trail guide for 60 years, following a family legacy left by his grandfather. He is also an author of 12 books. He is also credited as the founder and first president of the New York State Outdoor Guides Association, which helps connect travelers with professional outdoor guides throughout New York State.
The New York Folklore Gallery is showing the exhibit now. “Beauty of the Burl” opened on May 9, and runs until the end of this summer. The gallery is open 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays.