Mark Maloney comments on his Green Ebony Violin

The Dominicans call it green ebony in Spanish but its latin name is Magnolia Pallescens. It is only found in the higher elevation heart of the island in dense tropical cloud forests and is classified as endangered due to deforestation and a declining pollinator population.

The violin was an experiment by a distant great uncle on my my mother's side who emigrated from Finland to the Dominican Republic some time after WWII. He procured the wood from my grandfather, who owned and operated a mid-size furniture factory in the mountain town of Jarabacoa. My grandfather was well aware of over-harvesting and illegal poaching of this wood as far back as the 1950s, and only ever harvested fallen and dead wood.

Dominicans say it is wonderful for carving because it feels dense, has no visible pores and can have different colorations.

I believe from looking at the fiddle it may be on the oily side because it didn't hold together at all with what seems to be fish glue. I have not worked with it yet and don't plan to as it's highly protected and pretty much impossible to get out of the country, but I'm nonetheless fascinated by it.

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