Maple Cutting Board with Dual Copper Inlay

Maple Cutting Board with Dual Copper Inlay


Cutting board made from ambrosia maple. Etched with electricity to form a lichtenberg figure, which is then inlayed with copper. One vein of copper is left natural, while the second is chemically aged to give a darker patina. Locked in place with an epoxy resin and the copper polished,  it is then meticulously flattened to give a glass like finish. Sealed with a food safe blend of mineral oil and beeswax. 11" x 6.5" x .75"

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Unless otherwise stated, each board is milled from maple trees that were located in a sugarbush in Poultney, Vermont. The trees were attacked by the Ambrosia Beetle, and therefore felled, but in the process turning the wood into 'ambrosia maple', named as such due to the myriad of unique colors contained within each piece, and the occasional tiny beetle hole. 

The etching process results in a shape called a Lichtenberg Figure. In a delicate process, the wood is soaked in an electrolyte solution, which allows it to become conductive, before several thousand volts of electricity are applied to the work piece. Through very careful manipulation, a rough design can sometimes be achieved, though often times the electric arc has a mind of its own, creating the truly unique patterns you see below. 

After burning, the etching then is cleaned and prepped for inlay. The stone is crushed to a very fine grain size to allow it to permeate the thin tendrils of the burn. The inlayed material is then locked in place with epoxy resin to ensure it is permanently affixed to the wood. The resin is then flattened by hand to maintain as much detail as possible, as removing too much epoxy, and then wood, could cause the burn to start to wear away. The entire board is then sanded to achieve a glass like smoothness and in the case of the cutting boards, finished with a blend of mineral oil and beeswax.