Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Continuing education on Woods..today is about spalting..

Hey everyone!
Hope you had a Fabulous Valentines day with loved ones yesterday!!

Sorry its been so long since we have done a post on woods, we are going to talk about spalting today!
The deifinition of spalting by Wikipedia says

"Spalting is any form of wood coloration caused by fungi. Although primarily found in dead trees, spalting can also occur under stressed tree conditions or even in living trees. Although spalting can cause weight loss and strength loss in the wood, the unique coloration and patterns of spalted wood are sought after by woodworkers.["

Knowing this may sound creepy or gross to some of you, but the beauty of nature, even in rot or fungus cannot be discounted, as we have seen in the rare piece of spalted holly that was used for some of our hairforks. HOlly is specifically a wood that must be harvested and dried in an exact manner to get its traditional white pure coloring. The spalting occurring is considered a defect and as far as we can tell when it happens they use this wood to burn...we have been inquiring for it all over and noone has any becuase it would not be bought or sold since it is considered ruined...
SPalting can occur in any wood and is especially beautiful in some cases. it can cause lines, streaks, and colors ranging from light brown to greenand blue or black. it can be spotted, lines, swirled or blotched.

"While pigmentation fungi do not degrade the wood cell wall, this type of decay can lead to a reduction in toughness (amount of energy absorbed before breaking), and increased permeability [8]. Pigmentation can occur on both hardwood and softwood, unlike other types of spalting which are more host specific."

In other words, some spalting is caused by fungi that only change the color of the wood, and some actually degrade the wood, making it soft, flaky or even dust. In these instances those types of spalted wood really are not good for any type of wood working, so the fungi that cause the beautiful splating and do not degrade the wood are creatures with a specific purpose!

While we continue to hunt for the spalted holly, and we look at other types of spalted woods for our hairforks, we cannot order or make these types of natural beauties occur..so please be patient as we hunt for beautiful spalted woods and enjoy our other woods in the mean time!!

Thanks so much for your continues support of our hair art, we create out of love of hair and creating, and are so blessed that others enjoy and can use our hair art well!!!

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