MY PHILOSOPHY AND THE GOLDEN RULE
Whether you're a beginner who just been bitten by the burl bug, work with wood just for the simple enjoyment, or you're a full-time professional woodworker/woodturner, I'm ready, willing and able to support your needs. Like any other business, I need you, the customer, to survive. My goal is not to make a single sale, but to EARN your trust and repeat, long-term business.
Treat people in the manner you wish to be treated. Simple, right? So why then is it that good customer service has become the exception rather than the standard in American business? I subscribe to the Amazon customer service philosophy. I've not seen a better company when it comes to dealing with customers. If you're one of the Amazon faithful as I am, you know what that means.
My business philosophy is simple. It starts with providing a great product(s) people want. I strive to offer a SUPERIOR SELECTION of Australian Burls, hardwoods and other select burls and I pledge to work to continuously improve my business, my website and my service to you. For my business to be sustainable in the long-term, the product(s) I offer need to be of SUPERIOR QUALITY. I don't sell what I would not buy or use myself and I pay a premium for quality. I don't ever want poor quality to be associated with my business or name. Someone who wears a lot of gold on his shoulder once questioned if my standards were too high. I didn't believe that when he said it. I don't believe it now. Finally, merely having a great product is of little value without having the knowledge and commitment to SUPERIOR SERVICE to meet the needs of a range of customers.
In keeping with The Golden Rule, I don't want to waste your valuable time. I will never maintain that I am 100% percent accurate or that my website is perfect - it is a work in progress and one I pledge to work to continuously improve - but I update pages as pieces are sold to be as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
Prices are based on harvest weight (that's how I buy burl from the Australians) and are in line with my competition or lower than some larger wood retailers selling a limited selection of Aussie Burls. Those offering Australian Burls at a lower price, often buy 2nd or lower grade burls. My goal is not to be the cheapest guy on the block (that would be antithetical to providing superior quality) but to provide superior quality at a reasonable cost with superior service. I buy either SELECT or 1st GRADE burls. Occasionally, I'll buy a few "carvers." Unfortunately, like everything else these days, burl prices and importation costs are being driven up by the price of oil and imposition of new policies and charges by the US and Australian governments. That being said, the Aussie burls are still a bargain compared to other burls like Amboyna.
I recognize the inability to look at an expensive piece of burl/wood in person is an impediment to many buyers. That's why I photograph virtually every burl/piece (within reason) individually. I want you to see exactly what you're considering buying - I owe that to you. I also photograph everything in RAW format so I can correct images for accurate color and appearance without sacrificing quality. I have to keep picture size on the website to 600-800 pixels and resolution to 72 DPI so page load speed is not annoyingly (any more so) slow. If you see something that you think might interest you but you'd like a better picture before deciding, just email or call me and I'll email you a larger, higher resolution picture.
REMEMBER, I always keep large, high resolution in my electronic files . . . don't hesitate to ask for a larger , high resolution picture(s).
Being a one-man operation, things get hectic when a new shipment arrives. I have to measure, mark, photograph, process the photographs, upload to my website and usually process a lot of orders immediately thereafter.
I DO NOT keep the best for myself or believe in favoritism. I post everything I receive (unless it is of unacceptable quality - which is why I fired my Tasmanian supplier). I try to give everyone the same opportunity by posting notes about when I expect to start posting. If multiple people want to buy the same piece before I have a chance to update my website and list it as sold, it goes to the person who submitted the earliest email/phone/voicemail order. I've had multiple people order the same piece minutes after I post a new shipment. The only fair resolution is to defer to the earliest order.
COMING SOON AND SPECIAL ORDERS
Pieces posted on the COMING SOON page are for sale. If I know you/you're a repeat customer, all you need do is inform me you'd like to buy a piece and I will start an invoice with no money down. The same applies for special orders. If I do not know you or we've not previously done business, I will request a nominal 10% deposit. When I commit to a shipment, it can take a month or more finalize and prepare the crate(s). I pay prior to their departure from the warehouse for fumigation and shipment from Australia. With my main supplier, transit time is 6-8 weeks from the time it leaves Australia.
IRREGULAR SHAPED BURLS
There are lots of large and/or irregular shaped burls on this site. Personally, I've found that some of the most interesting turnings develop from the ugliest of burls (because of the resulting contrast of heartwood and sapwood), so don't be turned off by caps that are not perfectly round . . . just makes for more of an artistic challenge . . . That's not a sales pitch. While the Australian Burls are known for the fantastic color and figure of their heartwood, turnings are far more interesting with contrasting sapwood incorporated. Some species of burl commonly have faults - Red Morrel, Vasticola and Horistes come to mind - or visible termite damage. This frequently makes for better figure and artistic character (and if you're making a bowl anyway, just makes your job easier).
I want you to be happy with your purchase. Unlike some others who try to keep their costs/prices down by buying inferior quality at a lower price, I don't buy 2nd or low grade burls (I buy 1st grade or a limited amount of select grade), unless I specifically OK a particular burl with significant faults or termite damage that I know will not affect what's underneath. Burls are not inexpensive and my goal, as stated, is to EARN your trust and long-term business. To that end, I will provide you a top quality product, at a reasonable price, with, what I hope you'll agree is, exceptional customer service. I'm honest and not looking to have a dissatisfied customer.
If for any reason you're not happy with your purchase, please contact me, and between us we'll work out a reasonable solution. If you're happy with your order and my service, please tell a friend!