We get a lot of questions about our ebonized wood bowls and tossers. Namely, how do we achieve that intense, dark color?
The answer might surprise you.
These richly dark wood bowls are created with an all-natural, food safe stain made from simple items found in almost every kitchen.
In this post, we’ll share the secret of how we create our ebonized wood salad bowls and tossers.
What Is Ebonized Wood?
Ebonizing is the process of darkening wood in order to give it an appearance similar to ebony.
Ebony wood is a dark brown or blackish wood typically found in tropical regions. Because of ebony’s unique appearance and properties, the demand for this wood is high.
The insatiable appetite for ebony wood has led to high prices and the unsustainable harvesting of ebony trees. As a result, many ebony species are endangered.
Ebonized wood is the sustainable answer to this problem. By using other types of wood and darkening them through natural processes, we create wood bowls that have the appearance of ebony while using sustainably and locally sourced wood, instead of rare and endangered species.
How Is Ebonized Wood Made?
The ebonizing process was first developed in the 16th century. However, the technique didn’t become widely popular until the late 1800’s in Britain and America. At that time, ebony was extremely scarce due to overharvesting while the demand for it in products such as furniture was high.
Enter the ebonizing process.
Ebonized wood is created when the naturally occurring tannins in wood are exposed to and react with iron acetate, which is commonly made for this process by soaking steel wool in vinegar.
When wood is dipped or coated in this iron acetate solution, it goes through a rapid oxidizing process that darkens the wood.
Hardwoods contain higher tannin levels, which result in darker hues. Softwoods, with their lower tannin levels, will have lighter results from the ebonizing process than hardwoods. To achieve darker colors with softwoods, they can be soaked or coated in black tea to increase their tannin levels before iron acetate is applied.
Our ebonized wood bowls are typically made of oak. Oak is a strong and heavy hardwood that gives our bowls a dark, rich color due to its tannin levels.
Unlike an application of black paint, the ebonizing process allows the natural grain of the wood to show through for a more natural appearance.
Is This Technique Food Safe?
All of our wood finishes are completely natural and 100% food safe.
How Do You Care For Ebonized Wood?
Our ebonized wood bowls and tossers don’t require any special care beyond what we already recommend for all of our handmade wooden kitchenware.
Never put your wooden kitchenware through the dishwasher. Instead, wash by hand with warm water, a mild soap, and a non-abrasive sponge.
Always dry your bowls and tossers immediately after washing, to prevent cracking.
Remember to condition your wooden kitchenware regularly with an appropriate product. We recommend our vegan black walnut conditioner or our beeswax conditioner.
Available in three sizes, our ebonized wood tossers pair beautifully with any of our serving bowls.
Our live edge ebonized wood bowls have an organic oval shape and add a rustic touch to your table.
Sleek with a clean edge, our classic round ebonized wood bowls make a wonderful salad bowl set, and our larger sizes are great for serving.
Shop all of our handcrafted boards, bowls, and tossers right here.