Introduction: This is hopefully the first of many blog posts to come. Writing is not my preferred art form, and I must confess that my writing often lacks proper form. I will do my best to introduce the exotic hardwoods I work with. There are so many unusual hardwoods out there with unique properties, and I can't wait to introduce you to some of my favorites. Today, let's start with Ebony because it was the wood I used to create my very first necklace (which is shown as the featured image for the blog) and the piece of jewelry that led me to launch the Pride & Archive collection.
The Enigmatic Ebony Tree:
- Versatility and Cultural Significance: Ebony wood has a long-standing history of cultural significance and diverse applications. In addition to its use in fine woodworking and furniture-making, ebony has been employed in creating musical instruments, sculptures, and ornate carvings. Ancient civilizations revered ebony for its rarity, considering it a symbol of power and luxury. Certain cultures believed ebony possessed protective and mystical properties, making it an ideal choice for amulets and talismans. Pharaohs were often buried with ebony artifacts. Historically, ebony was associated with sophistication and I was not surprised to learn it was therefore used to craft exquisite jewelry pieces favored by royalty and nobility.
- Sourcing and Sustainability: Considering the high demand for ebony wood, responsible sourcing and sustainable practices are crucial to protect this valuable resource. Several organizations and initiatives focus on promoting ethical harvesting and reforestation efforts, ensuring the long-term availability of ebony while preserving its natural habitat. I consider myself incredibly fortunate and almost believe in fate when I think about settling in a small town in Western North Carolina after relocating from Southern California. It turns out, without knowing it my husband and I built our wood shop and home just five miles away from Cormark International, one of the most responsible and trusted suppliers of exotic hardwoods available today.
Conclusion: Ebony wood stands as a testament to nature's exquisite artistry. Its dark heartwood, exceptional density, and historical significance make it a treasured material in various artistic and cultural domains. Through these blog posts, I hope to give credit and build awareness of the materials and resources I rely on to create my art, and I believe it will help you value each piece of jewelry in a whole new light.