In addition to their gorgeous ceramic collection, Le Souk also makes gorgeous works of art from olive wood. These unique and one-of-a-kind pieces are made from sustainable harvesting of olive wood trees in Tunisia.
The wood is heavily regulated by the government, including pruning. Around 90% of the wood used is taken by pruning. Very rarely is an entire tree cut down, and when it is, it is replaced. Many of these trees are very old, around 200 years. This age, combined with the very hot and dry conditions of Tunisia are the reason for the astounding and dramatic look of the grain.
No two pieces are exact. The shape is determined by the wood grain, with each piece being hand-shaped and sanded with 8 levels of grit, finally finishing the piece with 600 grit. The wood, after raw cuts are made, have to dry and cure naturally for two years. Other places will soak the wood in salt water to quickly cure it, but it bleaches the wood and affects the integrity. Due to Le Souk’s careful aging process, the natural oils are retained in the wood, making the pieces bacteria resistant. When the piece is finished, it is oiled with pharmecuetical grade mineral oil.
Caring for your Le Souk Olivique: Hand wash and fully dry after use. Never place your olive wood in the dishwasher. Oil it every 3-4 months with mineral oil.
The artisans work under Fair Trade conditions and receive health insurance benefits for their family. Le Souk has an air conditioned work space for the artisans that create these beautiful ceramic and olive wood treasures.
Visit their website to see images and videos of their studio, the workers, and their Fair Trade process.