Technique: Wood Carving
THE TECHNIQUE : WOOD CARVING
Olive wood is a rich, warm wood that is prized for its durability and beautiful grain patterns. The olive wood tree is sacred to Kenyans, who are recognized worldwide for their expert ability to craft functional and beautiful art from the natural elements.
Harvesting and processing the olive wood is very important in the overall quality of the final product. There are several varieties of olive wood, but some are brittle or prone to cracking. The proper wood must be selected, then dried outside for a year. The slow drying process ensures that the wood will not split. When the wood is finally ready for production, it is cut with a saw, then finely tuned with small hand tools. It is sanded and buffed, then treated with a food-safe oil that creates a smooth, silky finish and seals in any moisture.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARTISANS
Acacia Creations is a fair trade studio based in Nairobi, Kenya that creates beautiful, eco-friendly jewelry, gifts, and home accents. The group has expanded its reach beyond Kenya, partnering with thousands of artisans in East Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines. Acacia Creations aims to help people in a sustainable manner, including by creating jobs, providing training, and giving back to communities through education and healthcare initiatives.
The studio of Le Souk Ceramique opened in 1997 in Nabeul, Tunisia. Each timeless design is created in the studio where the artisans do not use any machinery or decals. The artisans mix every color batch of food safe glazes by hand and freehand paint every detail, resulting in one-of-a-kind works. Le Souk sets wages above minimum wage, provides healthcare and social security payments for artisans, and is in process to receive Tunisia’s Fair Trade certification.
Kenyan wood carvers are recognized worldwide for expertly sculpting art from native woods using sustainable practices. The olive wood tree is sacred to Kenyans and appreciated worldwide for its beautiful grain patterns and durability. Kenyan carvers present the beauty of their natural world in finely crafted decorative and functional art. The artisans, their families and communities benefit greatly from the sale of olive wood products.