Curly Maple is not a species of Maple but rather a configuration of the grain in the wood that produces undulating waves or a ‘curling’ pattern to the grain. This curly figure can happen in any species of maple and it is prized for its uses as a decorative wood.
Common Names: Curly Maple, Tiger Maple
Scientific Names: Acer saccharum, acer rubrum, acer saccharinum, acer nigrum, acer pensylvanicum
Color and Appearance: Maple’s color can range from a distinctly white wood to that of a more cream color. The grain can be minimal and non-pronounced but this serves to highlight some of the more common characteristics found in maple such as mineral streaking, mineral staining, curl and knots. The heartwood in maple species is noticeably darker than the sapwood. Curly Maple has a distinctive pattern of curling waves in the wood grain.
How I use it: When sourcing maple boards I select ones with character features in them that will give each finished piece more variation that a clear board of maple. I do not shy away from including knots, some heartwood, figure, mineral staining or ingrown bark in pieces I make if it can bring more visual interest to the piece I am making.
What will the Curly Maple look like on my Clark Fine Wood Products piece? All wood has its own grain and color so each piece I make will never have another one that looks exactly like it. Here is some of the variation you might see on your Clark Fine Wood Products Piece: