The olive tree is native to the Holy Land where it has been cultivated since ancient times. Olive wood is hard and durable and its oil-like grain patterns are a distinguishing feature: no two olive wood products are identical. In addition, olive wood has natural antibacterial properties.

The Bible makes many references to the culinary and religious uses of olives and olive oil. The use of the olive tree for carvings is mentioned in I KINGS chapter 6, "And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree... and for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree... also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree".

The olive tree symbolizes the Holy Land.  It has been called: "The Sacred Tree", "The Peace Tree", "The Tree of Light", and "The Tree of Legends".

It is important to note that no olive tree is cut down or trimmed for the purpose of producing olive wood pieces.  All olive wood pieces are hand carved from the trimmings (pruning) of the olive trees, which is essential to the health and growth of the trees and to generate environmental stability.

Once the olive tree is trimmed, its pruned branches are kept in a dark place for a long period of time. The place chosen is dark and the temperature remains the same year round.  It is important that the wood is kept from moisture or humidity during the drying period.  These conditions allow the wood to dry without splitting or cracking which makes it ideal for carving.

Once carved, the wood is sanded and coated with a special varnish to protect it and highlight the grain. There is no need for oiling or further treatment because the olive oil inside the wood naturally protects it from corrosion. Olive is one of the hardest woods on earth and the carvings will easily last a life time. As it ages, it will become darker and even more beautiful. Cleaning the wood pieces is done only with a lightly wet cloth.

 

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