thuya wood

January 22, 2010

essaouira is known for it’s thuya wood, which can be found as tables, boxes, trays, furniture and so on and so forth.  the problem is that it is now endangered due to the fact that it is basically found in every tourist souvenir shop.  knowing this, i headed to the thuya artisan collective which is reported to replenish whatever it is they use.  one artist showed us how he created the intricate inlaid boxwork that you find everywhere.  it takes years and years of practice, he had been doing it for some twenty odd years, and it was incredible.  unfortunately i didn’t get video of that, but i did manage to capture the artisan collective in a very shaky, quite anticlimactic pan of the courtyard…. but it’s video nonetheless!

they did everything in that courtyard, from cutting the wood, to making the object, creating the patina to putting your new jewelry box in a bag and sending you on your way.

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