““Sinker” is simply a term for a log that sank to the bottom of a waterway during transport, or the bottom of a holding pond while it was waiting for processing. They’re also referred to as “deadheads.” These big logs sank a very long time ago (sometimes over 100 years ago!) and they remain there until they are “rediscovered.”
Underwater for up to a century, the bark and sapwood of the Sinker Log decomposes, but the inside is perfectly persevered. This interior wood is the “heartwood,” and is prized for its beauty and durability. Cool river water, very little oxygen, and resin in the log, all combine to create a natural preservation process.
As these Sinker Logs rest at the bottoms of swamps and rivers for decades, they slowly absorb minerals and tannins from the water, and the wood itself will take on a variety of hues. Because the mineral content will vary from one body of water to the next, the colors and shading of the logs become one-of-a-kind works of art.”