Even during a good year, the sourcing of Macassar Ebony is both problemmatic and perilous, more so with each passing year.
Ever-shrinking tree sizes, distance from even primitive transportation, naturally-low density of the species, extremely difficult mountainous terrain, unreliability of supply, reduced trustworthiness of suppliers, involvement of innumerable government officials, ever-more onerous documents for both Export and Import, escalating transportation/shipping costs, unstable political climate - all contribute to the degree of difficulty of sourcing Macassar Ebony.
Not even mentioned above in the ever-lengthening list of liabilities is the current danger to one's personal safety. Cross-cultural differences, compounded by religious intolerance, have contributed to violence and brutality, often in the extreme, in some of the very best areas and islands for Macassar Ebony.
Macassar Ebony is found almost entirely in smaller, remote areas of Indonesia, though this country encompasses 13,000 inhabitated islands. 20% of the distinctive cultures and languages in the world are found in Indonesia, this huge cultural diversity also contributing to unfortunately-reduced cross-cultural trust and cooperation and business, including the wood business.
Because Macassar Ebony is found in the most biodiverse forests on earth (in Indonesia) that are widely spread and remote, the species is neither endangered nor even threatened. While it never has been abundant, Macassar Ebony is nonetheless widespread in these remote locales. Macassar Ebony is almost never found in a pure stand, however small. Macassar Ebony grows surprisingly quickly, as it continues to expand its size year-round in its near-equatorial locations.
However, 'growing quickly' is a relative term. Of the perhaps 450 species of known Ebony in the world, an extremely small percentage would be referred to as 'trees', and almost all of these are small.
The vast majority of Ebonies in the world are short and shrub-like in appearance, and thus not providing 'commercial' lumber of significant lengths or widths.
Even the better-quality, larger examples of Macassar Ebony that are converted into veneer 'flitches' seldom exceed 6" x 8" in width and thickness. The quartersawn face is almost always the less-wide face, with finished veneer 'quarters' typically only 4"-6" wide. Read More on Macassar Ebony Sourcing.......
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