THE TUNISIAN CLASSIC ASHTRAY

This lovely olive wood classic ashtray is composed of two parts. It is smokeless and uniquely carved off of natural olive wood.
Perfect for interior and/or exterior use. It holds ash and smoking scent inside.

The raw material comes from the valley of the Sahel olive groves (center of Tunisia) with silvery green reflections, covering 57mn feet, over a third of the national territory. Handmade olive wood ashtrays are carved out of a single piece of olive wood which is easier to carve than other woods and could be done accurately with simple hand tools.

Also, it has a diverse variety of natural color and tonal depth, due to the annual structure. It is also resistant to decay and receptive to a number of surfacing treatments. Live wood is hard, heavy and strong with a high overall density. It has a straight grain with a fine texture.

Olive wood is appreciated for its natural color and biological characteristic. It is difficult to work due to its hardness, the knots of its fiber, and its vein. Each piece is followed for three years of drying and refining. One of the most delicate parameters to be apprehended is the ability to shoot this tree.

It is necessary to select quality trees, then to recover branches, stumps, or trunks, the logs are then quickly debited into planks or blocks, depending on the desired objects, before being stored and refined for several years of drying.

Thanks to its appearance and rich color, olive wood is a material used to process decorative objects. Olive wood has brown streaks that nicely contrast with the pale yellow streaks of the sapwood. The process of producing an olive wood craft is labor intensive and consists of many stages, often involving the work of multiple artisans.

The skilled artisan transforms the rough outline into a finished product by chiseling the details. Finally, the finished item must be sanded down and polished, then coated with olive wax to give the object a “natural shine” and ensure its longevity.

For the safety of nature and the products durability, the olive wood items are hand carved from the trimmings (pruning) of the olive trees, which is an essential process for the trees healthier growth, and to generate environmental stability. So no tree is damaged nor destroyed in the process.

As for olive tree cultivation in Tunisia, it dates from the eighth century BC. AD, even before the founding of Carthage by Queen Dido. The Phoenicians were the pioneers of olive cultivation in North Africa. The Carthaginians, at the time of the prestigious Carthage had made farming a science, and it is with the Treaty of agronomic Magon that olive cultivation was considerably enhanced, well evidenced by the numerous ruins of ancient mills such as those of Sbeitla (west of Tunisia, former Sufetula) or old mills of different regions such as Cyraunis (now Kerkenna the island). The mills were then operated by pulling a cow or a camel; fruits were packed in kibbled alfa (Lygeum spartum, an important steppe grass gathered as a fiber) mats, and stacked in the oil press.

In terms of olive oil production and olive trees cultivation,
Tunisia has always been ranked among the very first countries worldwide!

Pictures are courtesy of 
http://fine-crafts.com/ashtray_wooden_smokeless.htm