Olivewood (Olea europaea, O. capensis)
Europe and eastern Africa
Olivewood has a primarily creamy yellow or brown colour with incredible, high-contrast streaks of dark brown and black. Olivewood will occasionally have figure in the form of curl, burl, or wild grain that adds even more beauty to this wood.
Olivewood’s grain can vary between straight and calm to interlocked and wild grain. That being said, a hand plane may not be the best choice for this species so watch out for tearout. Olivewood is a joy to turn and takes glue and finish well.
Decorative objects, veneer, turned projects, and bespoke furniture.
Typically, this wood is seen in the form of pruned or storm damaged branches as Olivewood is not grown for lumber. It can be unstable and prone to movement so using it sparingly is advised. While worked, Olivewood has a distinct fruity smell.