While not technically an ancient relic or antique, the composition of each burl bowl actually takes centuries, as the hard fibrous material that forms the substance of the trunk of a tree has the ability to virtually outlive us all. An art form in their natural essence, they will be considered true “antiques” to the future wave of generations and passed on indefinitely for ages to come. Craftsman Dustin Coates creates masterpieces with today’s mechanical tools, displaying the imprint of lifetimes lived. Coates’ collection, Turnings in Wood is made of burl outgrowths from various species of trees such as red cherry, white oak and birch—each producing a different effect. Creating a natural form burl bowl involves a handworked process that follows the naturally occurring contours existing on the trunk. After rigorous lathe-turning, shaping, carving, burning and polishing, irregular shaped bowls emerge with patterns that shift and turn like water, leaving much of the gnarly outer texture untouched, but smoothing the central surface to display its pseudo-geological stratification. The end result showcases the perennial plant’s history within its wild grain. If it has suffered from disease, fungus or parasites, you can see it in the grain. The rings reveal its age, and whether it grew in a generous environment or a stingy one. Now its future life finds purpose as a striking feature inside a home. Not your average fruit bowl or jewelry holder, these living antiques make for a truly remarkable combination of artistic expression and natural beauty. And no worries, burls can be safely removed from standing timber without risking adverse effects to the health of the tree.