Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pictures of the inside.

Few people get right inside and up close, so I want to show what you'd see if it was displayed better.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Burl Roots

I've always been surprised at the amount of people that ask if the large burls were underground. It could be words like "unearthed" that has been written more than once that have caused this misconception. The large burls on the right hand side were actually sitting up on roots that were completely exposed. The left side was sitting right at the ground level, the roots were hidden under the ground on that side.

My guess is that the tree was nearly uprooted by a natural cause a couple hundred years ago when it was very young. It leaned over but after a few years of struggling to survive it straightened itself out. This 'wound' caused the tree to strengthen itself by twisting and curling into truss-like shapes which was the beginning of the gigantic burls. Nature is absolutely amazing at taking care of itself, and this piece of wood is one of the worlds wonders that shows that well.

This picture shows what the stump looked like after I had dug around the roots on the outside as well as the inside.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Letter to the National Gallery of Canada

This copy of a letter from Donna Rodway arrived in the mail last week. It is a huge honour for me to see such kind words so well written. Thank you to the Rodways for their support and I hope to hear from Mr. Mayer in the near future.

For those of you that would like to view 'Murfitt', email me at or call 250-746-0075 to set up a time. Thanks,

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Queenie; her visit! and the pool cue draw

I picked Queenie up today at the Crofton BC Ferries Dock at 11:20am. A very sweet little lady, we connected instantly and it was a very informative and interesting ride to my place. She has accomplished a lot in her life and is determined to continue doing so for a lot longer. We went straight to the burl and she touched it and loved it for a while, and met my family and friends. Warren Lange was there and shortly after, Albert Chow came with his daughter Trinity.

It was another good day, Queenie, who I bet was a bit of a firecracker in her younger days, looked over Alberts beautiful Komodo pool cue. Paula dumped all the folded papers into a big pot and I brought it out for Queenie to make the draw.

Congratulations to Wyn and Wendy Bunston of Victoria, Queenie drew your name. I phoned right away and told Wendy, she sounded like she couldn't believe it. Wyn was at that time looking at some of the photos he had taken of "Murfitt" on his computer. They sounded pretty happy, and the best part about it is: Wyn is a pool player. Enjoy it Wyn, that cue has a TON of character!, and a very interesting story just like Queenie.

Thanks to Warren I have about 50 more pictures, and he even already brought discs so I could post them here.

Thanks to Paula for being such an excellent hostess, we had a great lunch and an easy time. That's just what you do!

Thanks Albert for your workmanship, and friendship.

Thanks to Lia, Tara, Becky for coming and for all your help and support.

Thank you Myrna and Barry, Fiona and Barry, Jackie and Dave for being there and helping at the open house.

Thanks to Serious Coffee for donating the coffee and cups, and the Highland Dance Club for the big tent.

Thanks to all friends and family, and everybody that donated to the Canucks Place Childrens Hospice. We raised a total of $1,700. It wouldn't have been possible without each one of you doing what you did.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Queenie, my latest 'Murfitt' friend

Since starting this project 6.5 years ago I have had the honour of meeting hundreds of people that I may have never connected with otherwise. Some of them have turned into great relationships, and it's the true meaning of 'Murfitt'

Shortly after the first article came out in the Citizen in March 2006, I received a phone call from an elderly lady from Saltspring Island, Queenie. She told me she loved wood and wished she could come over to see the burl, so we tried to arrange it. At that time the burlshack was just an idea, and all I had covering it was tarps held up with a ladder for a centre pole and brooms etc. to try and keep the wet tarps off the wood. I tried to put off Queenies visit until Peter Murfitt had the burl shack completed so she could enjoy it more.

Once the burl shack was set up we tried several times to hook up but it just never worked out. I was to come over and pick her up once and that failed because I got called out to work. It was disappointing to both of us but that was just the way it was. Through all our communication I was learning that Queenie is quite the character to say the least.

I ended up mailing her a couple small finished trimmings off the burl in the mail, so she could at least get an idea of the quality of the wood. But I never heard back from her after that! I was saddened at the thought that she never got the chance to see it and I never got the chance to become friends with her face to face. To top it off my computer crashed and I lost everything including the contact information on Queenie.

Then, on Monday evening after years of not knowing what happened I received a message on my phone. Guess who? YES! Queenie! "Hello, it's Queenie from Saltspring, I've been reading about your burl again Glen, I've always wanted to come and see it and to see you. I've never have written to you since you sent me those two little samples and I just love them. And I have a little quilt I made with the Canadian floral emblems that I wanted to bring. I don't suppose it'll mean much to you but it might to your wife or mother and I would just love to come over, my son can bring me. So will you call me? It's Queenie, you'll remember." and she left her phone number then hung up.

I could not believe it! I got alligator tears in my eyes and I called right away! I asked if she could come over on Saturday and draw the pool cue winners name. So that's what we're doing.

Queenie was a welder in the war, I think she said the first woman welder in Canada. She made 200 Blankets for babies in Africa last year, and she spent four years writing a 300 page book on her life. She's a character that I am honoured to be able to call my "Murfitt" friend!

I'll post a couple photos and the cue winners name after her visit. She's now 97!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Successful open house!

My family and friends helped make the open house a ton of fun and a very successful fundraising event. The Canucks Place Children's Hospice will receive a nice significant amount of money thanks to everybody that gave a donation. If you were here I'm sure you enjoyed your visit and I thank you for your donation. The pool cue winners name will be announced on this blog after we make the draw later this week.

It's impossible to keep track of how many people came this weekend but we're thinking 500 to 600. Thank you Kevin Rothbauer of the Cowichan Valley Citizen for an excellent job of writing the article that came out June 15th.
It was an extreme pleasure for me to connect with a lot of old and new friends as well as the many people I didn't know until this weekend. Thanks for coming!

If you missed it and would like to see 'Murfitt' Call me at 250-746-0075 or Leave a comment on this post and we'll figure out when you could do that. Or Facebook me at www.glen.mcleod.5
photos by good ol Warren Lange.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Open House

 On June 23rd/24th weekend I'll be having an open house to show the burl. You're welcome to stop by 271 Day Rd. Duncan, B.C. to see this 6.5 year art project. There will be a door prize as described in a previous post, and a donation box. Proceeds will go to Canucks Place Children's Hospice. On this same weekend my neighbor Bernadette McCormick will be holding an art show.

 I hope to find a good place to display the burl before another winter and will welcome your ideas. A lot of people ask what I'm going to name it, that's an easy one. It'll be called 'Murfitt' after the late Peter Murfitt, for obvious reasons. I honestly think I would have lost the battle with the elements had it not been for Pete. Even with the protection of the burl shack, it was a constant battle with fungus for the first few years. The battle is over now, and it will last forever as long as it goes indoors.

 If you have any questions please use the comment section on this blog. I love to talk about it so please feel free to ask.
email -

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Albert Chow

A few years ago I received a call from Albert Chow, a man who was unknown by me at that time. He told me he'd been talking to a friend of mine that told him about my burl. He said he made pool cues and asked if I'd be interested in selling him pieces of burl maple.

I told him to come on over and see if I had any pieces that he could work with. He came over with his daughter and as it turned out I did. The pieces he chose had been trimmed off the burl when I first removed it and stored with the other trimmings. When I told him he could take the wood at no cost he responded by offering to make me a cue.

I told Albert that if he made me a cue, I'd raffle it off and give the money to the a children's hospice.

A few months later a business card was in my mail box. It said Komodo Authentic Cues on the front and had a hand written note on the back. It said "Hi Glen, I came by to drop off your cue. I'll call to see when your available. Albert

I happened to be working in the area where Albert lives so I stopped by his place. He showed me around his shop and then gave me one of the nicest pool cues I've ever seen. Beautifully built out of wood from my burl, unbelievable! Not only did he give me the cue, but he supplied a vinyl case and in the case he placed a chalk. One of his customers had come to his house and tried it out. He told Albert it was the nicest solid hitting cue he's ever played with. He offered to buy it but Albert, being a man of his word, refused to part with it. My respect level for him is very high for this reason.

So now it's time for me to live up to my word and use it to raise money for the children's hospital.

I'll post details on this blog early in June and hopefully you can make it.

Thank you Albert Chow!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012