Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Please Help Prevent the Poaching of Pernambuco


Jedidjah de Vries
 Share

Recommended Posts

The VSA posted this last week on Facebook, along with the text bellow, in case folks missed it:

Quote
Awareness of the illegal cutting and exporting of Pernambuco is the first step towards ending the practice.
See here for a report from the US Embassy in Brazil about the poaching of pernambuco, and see what you can do in the flyer below. https://br.usembassy.gov/u-s-fish-wildlife-service-and-policia-federal-coordinate-joint-enforcement-actions-to-combat-trafficking-of-rare-and-endangered-timber-from-brazil/

 

bow-poster.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I don't understand the last point. Why would buying or selling an already existing bow stick (worth the rehair or not), made from Pernambuco or anything else encourage poaching? If someone can use it for any purpose, why waste the wood that was already harvested and made into a bow many years ago?

School bows from 50 years ago or more, are an example. If someone can resurrect it and make it into a playable bow, even of questionable quality, what difference does it make for poaching?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sadly, no. This is not to pick on specific retailers, since the practice is widespread, but just by way of example: Shar has a bow for $35 and Fiddler Shop has one for $45.

There are, as I understand it, two fundamental issues.

First, we don't know where a lot of the pernambuco is coming from and can't be sure it's being harvested legally. There are efforts being made to address the poaching. In the mean time, for now, it's safer to stick to either older bows or bows from makers who can vouch for their sources.

And second, that there has been for a long time, and continues to be, a practice of making very cheaper lower quality bows (with cheap labor) that are sold for less than the cost of a rehair. And that this disposable mentality shouldn't be acceptable when dealing with such an endangered resource.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Jedidjah de Vries said:

Sadly, no. This is not to pick on specific retailers, since the practice is widespread, but just by way of example: Shar has a bow for $35 and Fiddler Shop has one for $45.

Hard to say. The one at Shar looks like it might be made from MDF. :lol:

If these bows are Chinese, I can't figure why they would use valuable Brazilwwod to make a cheap, crappy bow. I'd be more inclined to think it's some other common hardwood easy to obtain in the Near East that is passed off as Brazilwood to the unwary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong (like I have to invite corrections here;)) but I thought it was understood that the danger to pernambuco did not come from bow makers, but from the other uses for the wood. Fence posts come to mind, as they have a tendency not to rot, and construction and the like. The IPCI is mostly tasked with being a sort of representative of the bow making community to cover for any flack they might get from using the wood.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the difference between brazilwood and pernambuco. I've read many times they are the same tree sometimes that they are not, but never seen clear diffrence between them.

Those chinese disposable bows are made of whatever hardwood they have totally unpredictable what species you'll get next time. I'd rather get common old german bow from better grade wood and rehair it myself than that.

I guess the biggest part of the poached pernambuco wood goes indeed to bowmakers. Poachers will get fake certificates for the wood or sell wood with the same certificate multiple times. How can you tell that the certificate is real or not?

I'm amazed how much Brazilian rosewood for guitars is still on the market in all levels of quality. The prices are ugly but folks ar ewilling to pay so it is worth to poachers try to cash on it. Similar with pre-ban ivory.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for bringing this forward for discussion, without the earth and all its diversity we really are as nothing, I see a sort of moral responsibility to help protect and preserve what’s left when possible. 

with that in mind , to the maestronet community,

what are some alternative woods or materials that are less endangered at risk that share similar qualities that could be brought up ? I as because as I am aware pernambuco was originally brought to Europe as ship ballast and sold as dye wood , to be ground into dust, and similar to spruce and maple , it quickly  became the standard, not necessarily because all the woods were tested and it was best … but because it was eminently suited and readily available at an affordable rate . All perfectly logical for the day ,  it unlike spruce and maple , now we must seek alternatives . The American tree Osage orange while generally very twisted and small in diameter is very hard and flexible ideal for hunting  bows …. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People who saw the handwriting on the wall were urged to take photos of their wood, notarize the photo with a date  and keep records and bills of sale, before the CITIES banns came into effect. The  US Fish and Wildlife Dept. has a program to certificate old stashes of wood. The process takes a bit of money and is a pain in the ass but can make this legal wood available and not waisted. I did this myself. This leaves a trail of origin and ownership that follows the wood from harvest to instrument. I have about 150 sticks and several boards of Brazilian from my career which I will never get to use in this life, and I won't see them go to waste. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, HoGo said:

I'm amazed how much Brazilian rosewood for guitars is still on the market in all levels of quality.

I may be wrong but I think I read long ago where some were allowed to go back and cut leftover stumps for wood from the earlier years.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Michigan Violinmakers Association's last meeting (ZOOM) was a presentation from well known bow maker Lynn Hannings about just this topic. I'll check into whether we can re-post it here.

Edit: Sorry the link is not available.

Edited by Gary M
Updated info.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ms Hannings is amazing in her work, teaching and efforts. But I did argue with her a bit about the topic of Pernambuco. She was not so happy. She is passionate and it shows, but the subject ( at one level ) is complicated. I know a few Brazilian retailers and it is certainly an issue but like so many aspects of life, everything is complicated. ...too complicated for this simpleton to discuss. 

Guidelines should be developed. That makes sense? There could be more clarity. I do want those fence posts.

As for the truly inexpensive bows, unless I have missed them in the past few years out here, none are made of Pernambuco. As for other endangered exotic woods, I can not speak about that.  

We should discuss Pernambuco further and perhaps other materials. There are those who passionately care and thank them for it. I have been working on replacing an Ivory frog for travel, but instead have left it home.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wood looks nothing like pernambuco or brazilwood, that's how we know they're not, I actually find the "brazilwood" ones I get from howard core are pretty decent and quite strong wood and are good enough for student violins, why the dealers continue to call them brazilwood and pernambuco defies logic, it should be illegal but they don't seem to care

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone in need for cheap bows for beginners instruments e.g for rental fleets, could change to carbon-composite bows. For environmental reasons it is better to rehair these bows, even if the cost of rehair exceeds the price of a new one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The third point could also apply to cheap carbon-fiber bows that aren't worth the price of re-hairing. They just fill up landfills with stuff that will never biodegrade.

But also to the third point: It isn't just re-hairing. I have several dozen very decent nickel-mounted pernambuco German trade bows with good sticks and frogs that would be perfectly serviceable if restored, but the costs of restorations are not economically viable. Restoration usually means some combination of new tip-plates, lappings, thumb-leathers, re-cambering, and re-hairing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...how about we get rid of disposable bows entirely?

How about we stop dismissing so many old bows as "not worth rehairing" (provided they can be rehaired).

I'll bet a lot of "not worth it" bows are decent players.

What we need to do is rethink our thinking. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ones I don't rehair on principle are the old fiberglass Glasser tomato stakes and floppy imports made of who-knows-what.  But I agree that it's the other stuff, new tip plates, frog damage, lappings and leathers that make restoring some of the older stuff questionable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, violinsRus said:

The ones I don't rehair on principle are the old fiberglass Glasser tomato stakes and floppy imports made of who-knows-what.  But I agree that it's the other stuff, new tip plates, frog damage, lappings and leathers that make restoring some of the older stuff questionable.

I think with some appropriate marketing it can be done.

Much of the upcoming generation is leaning towards recycling, sustainability, saving the planet...etc.

Edited by Rue
Fixed another annoying typo...>:(
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...