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Bog Oak

Bog Oak

We have chosen for our products one of the best materials available — the roayl oak. It is the only wood material combining the strength of iron ensuring longevity, warmth and extraordinary energy to add comfort and coziness to any interior. Pieces made from real bog oak are capable of satisfying the most refined taste and can be rightfully called works of art.

People’s perceptions of bog oak vary. Some see it as something unreal and fantastic; others see it as indistinguishable from ordinary wood treated with mordant.

Bog oak is precious timber-based material with silver-grey noble cloudies and its own history of origin. For centuries and thousand years sunk oak trunks were lying on the bottom of the lakes and in the process of staining with no access for air gained solidity and became as strong as a rock. The Nature itself gave unique properties to bog oak providing it with such features as durability and unique color spectrum. It’s hard to find any other wood with such beautiful texture as oak possesses. What makes bog oak different from the other wood-based material is that dyestuff and lacquer are never used during the making process. Soft pale-yellow colors speak about the fuming age of 300-400 years and black color – of more than 1000 years of fuming. Historical documentations reveal some different names for bog oak like «black wood» and «iron wood». Such names were given mostly due to properties of the wood but it was all about bog oak matured under water. It is significant to know that in ancient Russia there was such abstract notion as a “cabinet-maker”. Masters who worked with elite wood were called «black wood cabinetmakers». Nowadays, those masters who follow centure-old traditions respect every single unique peace of the material they work with by revealing and presenting it’s best qualities. That’s why bog oak is used not only as finishing material nowadays but also as a source of inspiration in the process of creating authentic works of art.

Many people think for some reason that bog oak is just an oak wood finished by a mordant. In fact these things are widely different! Even the word “bog” comes form the French “morais” – a swamp. The second name of the bog oak is black oak because when the mordant is used the wood becomes dark and practically black.

The mysterious bog oak is a unique material elaborated in the rivers by nature itself. It can not be prepared in vitro, it can not be imitated. It is a unique natural wonder, like a child being cared for and cherished for thousands of years.

Bog oak can be found only in special places. Primarily a bog oak deposit may form only with several favorable conditions. First, oak trees have to grow on the bank of an ancient stream. Second, the stream current has to be high. Third, the river alluvial soil has to have special composition. Alluvial soil is a certain sediment of the river flow and silts from weathering and erosion of more ancient rocks and their ingress to river valleys. The last condition of bog oak to appear is a time factor as a hundred years of such “washing” is not sufficient. All the above mentioned prove that bog oak is a truly unique material because the chances of all these factors’ together are low.

So, how is this material obtained? Sunken logs stay in the water for thousands of years, where, without access of air during wood cutting they became as solid as rock. Centuries went by and the wood became mineralized and turned into black oak, becoming as solid and long living as iron thanks to salts and minerals. Wood, on the one hand, and nearly a stone with not wood-like solidity and unique colour palette, as a rule dark, on the other hand.

As all the trunks are found in different conditions, every log has its own composition and colour, that is why the natural palette of bog oak has many shades, it can be pastel blue or rose, dark red or velvet black. However, there are unusual colours: rose, gray, brown, black and yellow, black and green with silver gray lines.

The shades and intensity of the colour depend on the quantity of metallic salt, mainly iron salt in the water and tanning agents in the wood, and on the time and conditions of the preserving. Usually the longer the wood stays in water the darker the colour becomes. This process take on average from 1000 to 2000 years. The darkest logs were found by the British in peat swamps in 1960. The age of the recovered logs was found to be between 4000 and 7000 years.

The recovery of bog oak is also unusual. Before the season starts the specialists examine nearly 300-400 km of the river and analyze the features of the banks, the stream speed, the depth and condition. Where the river channel changed its direction, the logs usually became stuck and sank. These are the places where it is most likely to find oak logs.

The wood is extracted from the depth of up to 30 m. After the divers have found the sunken logs they are taken to the surface with the use of modern equipment, afterwards they are transported, sorted and categorized by colour and structure.

Bog oak is very fastidious. Strange as it may seem, each log should be sawn and processed within two to three days, otherwise it becomes unfit for use. Moreover, if a log is left in the open air without protection even for a couple of hours it looses almost all its unique characteristics and colour. The extraction values are so high that there can be no waste of time. Each log is processed separately taking into account its specific parameters. After that the wood is seasoned to relieve the internal stress and undergoes special natural maturing for several years. High operating costs are also related to the fact that only a small percentage of the extracted tree biomass is left fit for further use.

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