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Sally Burnett

ever changing perspectives and glimpses of pattern

The Maker

Sally Burnett is a designer-maker of elegant wooden vessels and sculptures for bespoke luxury interiors. Each piece is lathe-turned from ethically sourced ‘green’ (recently felled) English hardwood trees. Once carefully dried, the design is cut into the surface using pyrography and carving. The surface is then coloured with acrylic colour and dyed silver leaf. The entire making process uses traditional hand tools and each piece is unique.

The Object: Corvus Nero Lustrous Black, 2017

19 h x 15 cm diameter. English sycamore, marbled gold dyed silver leaf, black acrylic colour, chalk paint. £1,194

The Making

Sally’s wood is harvested from trees which must be felled due to site clearances or storm damage. Each piece is turned to shape before being set aside to slowly dry over many weeks. Once the piece is dry Sally draws the design onto the surface, and carves it using pyrography (controlled burning). She then paints the ‘feathers’ with black acrylic colour which seals the surface and provides a ground for the silver leaf. The interior of each piece is sealed with chalk paint which provides a durable surface that can be wiped clean, particularly important for pieces used in a commercial setting.

Processing her own timber permits Sally to select wood with interesting grain. One such piece from the crotch of a tree had an interesting grain pattern. Once turned, the feather pattern curved around the inside of the piece enabled Sally to create a design on the outside that mirrored it: the birth of the Corvus Nero range.


Recipient of a bursary from the Worshipful Company of Turners which created interest within the UK market, Sally regularly sells through Contemporary Applied Arts, London and also works with interior designers, architects and hotel groups. The Corvus Nero range has been exhibited annually since 2018 at Maison et Objet (Paris). Private clients find Sally through specialised magazines such as American Art Collector, Woodturning International or Creative Wood.

Sally Burnett on her Signature Style

‘The tagline of my brand is “The Art of Wood”. Although heavily decorated, the wood grain is visible within the smooth bone coloured background, providing a contrast with the carved feathers. The silver leaf adds texture and gloss. The shape enhances the decoration, creating ever-changing perspectives and glimpses of pattern.’

Expert Eye

An elegant and opulent design from very humble and natural origins. It grabs your attention before subtly revealing the deeper beauty of the carefully chosen timber grain. Jason Heap (A Celebration of Craftsmanship)