Monday, September 24, 2007

Pau-brasil and the bow-makers, Part II

I'm always thrilled when I get feedback from readers. Imagine how excited I got when I received a comment from Charles Espey, a master bow-maker in the United States. He wasn't touting his fine bows because he's doesn't need any advertising in the musical world. His bows are world famous. He was merely commenting on a blog post that I had written about Pau-brasil, a tree we have at Bosque Santa Lucia. Charles Espey not only uses Pau-brasil for making his bows, he's instrumental in the reforestation of the species via fund raising projects here in Brazil. Once considered near extinct, Pau-brasil is making a comeback via the efforts of Espey and other bow-makers in Europe and North America. He tells me that as of this month, Pau-brasil has been included on the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Animals and Flora) Appendix 2, which means that the use of it will be much more regulated than in the past. The trees being planted now will be ready for harvest starting about 30 years from now. That's how long it takes for the heartwood to meet the rigid qualifications needed to make quality bows. I understand that most established bow-makers have a stock of Pau-brasil that will last them until that time. Since a finished bow weighs only two ounces, a cubic meter of the wood will last a long time. Image, courtesy of Charles Espey.

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