#27: Macassar Ebony

Bird number: 50
Date: March 6, 2012
Wood: Macassar Ebony (Diospyros celebica)
Source: Woodcraft

Debra bought me a total of eight different blocks of wood for Christmas and for our anniversary. I cut out bird blanks from most of them a month ago, but then the weather got cold and I didn’t go out to the garage to carve them. I don’t like operating that power carver when I’m shivering. Some, like the Mango, were soft enough that I could carve them with a knife. But this stuff, especially, is quite hard.

Macassar (also Makassar) Ebony is endemic to a single island in Indonesia. It’s a highly prized wood, and has become scarce over the centuries. It’s one of the most expensive woods available on the market. I can see why. The stuff is beautiful and is a pleasure to work with. Hard, sure, but stable and it takes a really nice finish.

As with most of the harder woods, Macassar Ebony is more commonly turned than carved. But a Google Images search does return a fair number of carvings, including a couple of stylized birds that are quite similar to this one.

I have a good chunk of this stuff left. I could make two or three more birds, or I can think of something else to carve from it. After that’s gone, I probably won’t be getting any more. At least not for a while. The stuff really is expensive.