Handcrafted wooden pen – Iroko, Venezuela, Silver, Fountain ink
The Iroko tree is a large hardwood tree that grows in the tropics of Africa, particularly on the west coast in countries like Ghana, Guinea, Angola, Benin and Mozambique. While it’s also sometimes known as Nigerian or African Teak, the Iroko tree is not in the teak family. In fact, the timber actually compares very favourably to teak, making it an increasingly popular and more affordable alternative.
The strength, durability and rot resistance of Iroko timber give it a number of potential applications, ranging from construction, furniture and joinery to panelling, boat building and flooring. Iroko wood was also chosen for the pews in the Our Lady of Peace Basilica. Iroko can also be used in herbal medicine, with the bark milled down and used to treat coughs and even heart problems, while the latex can clear stomach and throat obstructions.
The tree grows to an average of 50 metres (164 feet) and has a diameter of 75 – 250 cm. But, as well as being a vertiginous tree, the Iroko is also surrounded by a number of tall tales, myths and folklore. In fact, the tree is both feared and revered in various cultures.
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