Wood, as art and furniture, is the heavenly after-life of a tree -- a breathtaking reincarnation of natural living beauty, to be enjoyed for a lifetime, and beyond.
To give your hardwood products proper "prenatal" care, all raw hardwood stock is heat/vent dried in a solar-powered kiln before being lovingly crafted by our proprietary artisans at Orange Gifts home woodshop in the western Cayo District of Belize. However, it should be noted that a number of products are also made in villages throughout Belize and other exotic locations around the world where kiln-drying is unavailable.
Wood is not a dead substance, but lives a vibrant second-life in its new reincarnated form. Woods breathes, expands, contracts, absorbs and releases moisture. This absorption and release, in and of itself, is not a problem; the dilemma can occur when it happens too rapidly. Under extreme circumstances, and with improper post-purchase care, it is possible that wood products may twist, crack, mold, or rot. Further complicating the issue is the fact that many homes are winter-heated and summer air-conditioned, and have dehumidifiers in their basements. The result is the same: super-dry air which can be damaging to tropical hardwood. With fitted, frame-oriented wooden items, such as desk drawers or doors, moisture expansion can create major difficulties. Luckily, non-fitted, non-frame-oriented products are less problematic. Plus, our exotic hardwood products have micro-porous finishes, as opposed to no finish, which helps to slow the absorption and release of moisture.
Our mission is to slow "diffusion" (the release of moisture) into the new ambient airspace. The rate of diffusion will depend on the dampness of the wood in comparison to the relative dryness of your home or office.
1. Place your purchase in a plastic bag, and seal it until you get home or to your office.
2. Remove the item from the bag, turn the bag inside out, thereby putting a controlled amount of "new" air into the bag, and re-seal the bag.
3. Leave it for a week.
4. After about a week, repeat bagging procedure.
This process limits the amount of air surrounding the wooden product. Diffusion starts rapidly at first, especially if there is a large difference between the amount of moisture in the wood and your home. But the air in the bag is quickly saturated and, as it reaches the moisture content of the wood, it slows down and finally stops. At this point, the wood has reached its Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) and the parts of the wood that released their moisture more rapidly will be forced to wait for the rest of the wood to catch up. As a result, the wood stabilizes; stress areas that might have cracked the wood are relieved.
Over a three-week period, moisture content will be reduced in a controlled manner by means of your own little mini-kiln!
After the process, display the piece in the same environment in which the drying procedure was carried out.
Keep an eye on your item for two or three days after purchase. If any tiny hairline cracks ("checks") appear, quickly put the item in the bag for another round of drying. If you catch the hairline "checks" quickly enough, they will disappear. If you don't, your wooden product may crack further, "morph," develop "character," and maybe increase in value!
For questions, email Julian Sherrard (brother of Vanessa Ouimette) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (international) 011-501-624-2341.
All hardwood chairs have an oil finish, and will endure just as well outdoors as indoors. Optional care includes a thin coat of linseed oil about every 4 to 6 months. (Cooking oil, teak oil, or any type of furniture oil is also fine.) Mahogany, like most woods, will oxidize over time and turn that lovely aged red-mahogany color. If they are left outside for several years without oil, they'll turn a beautiful "barn-wood" silver-grey.
Your deck chairs are made from solid 100% red Honduran mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), handcrafted in our backyard jungle woodshop in the Cayo District of Belize, Central America – now family owned and operated for 32 years. Using a solar-powered kiln to assure optimal stability, the raw wood was given proper “prenatal” care before being before being lovingly crafted by our proprietary artisans. More info...
All cutting boards have a wax finish on them. Wax helps maintain the true color of the exotic hardwoods. But remember, even with the "show-type" finish, they are built for daily use. Simply wash the board after use (do not submerge for long periods of time), let dry, and apply a thin coat of cooking oil. After a year or so of heavy daily use, it can be re-finished with sandpaper and a thin coating of oil re-applied.
Bowls and vases also have a wax finish on them. Wax helps maintain the true color of the exotic hardwoods. But remember, even with the "show-type" finish, they are built for daily use for soups and salads. Simply wash the bowl after use (do not submerge for long periods of time), let dry, and apply a thin coat of cooking oil.
Simply buff items with a clean soft cloth to reactivate their shine. A thin coat of wax every 4 months or so, depending on use, will keep your items beautiful.
Items which have a polyurethane finish do not need any care what-so-ever. If the finish becomes scratched, simply wax and buff to make the scratch disappear.