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Thursday, July 2, 2009

What is Wormy Maple?

Tuesday night, we attended the annual picnic at Maple Tree Glass Studio for our chapter of TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists). Upon overhearing conversation among Michael and some of the other woodworkers, I was confused. I always understood "wormy" maple to be maple wood with markings left from some worm... I knew it was also sometimes called ambrosia maple. What was curious to me, is that last night I found out that is isn't worms at all that cause these markings, it is the ambrosia beetle. ( <--Warning: I don't like pictures of bugs, if you don't either, don't check this Wikipedia link)

Worm holes left from a beetle??? Even more confused, I began searching the web this morning. I found this from a site "wormy maple aka ambrosia maple, this comes from regular soft maple trees that have been infested by the ambrosia beetle. The small beetle bores a network of tunnels and short galleries called cradles. A fungus is responsible for the black and gray streaks that accompany each tunnel and adjacent wood. The streaks add a unique look to this hardwood without affecting its structural integrity. This wood is mostly found in the central part of Eastern United States."

Still scouring the web to find more information, lastly, I found this: which says NOTHING about ambrosia maple, but I like how it broke up the native Appalachian hardwoods, and it is a very informative site! Stay tuned... As I find more interesting information, I will pass it on. To check out our newest ambrosia maple cutting board, go to our Etsy shop,


The Basics

Michael and Talina Ripper met online and when they met in person, they knew they had found something special, a once in a lifetime love. Michael obtained BFAs in both Wood Design and Ceramics from ECU. Talina has always been a creative/artistic spirit, but has her BSN from ETSU and still works as an RN. Talina has three sons, Seth (17), Aaron (8), and Jacob (7). Michael and Talina have a son together, Quinn, who is 17 months. They are getting settled in their downtown loft just around the corner from Michael's studio and the gallery. Their dream of living their art is coming true!


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