Some people have asked me what spalted wood was, believing it to be some sort of man made artificial material. This is far from the truth. It is completely made by Mother Nature. Man can not create it so that's what makes it so expensive.

Spalted wood does grow in the normal sense of the word. Spalting in the wood is caused by bacteria. It is found in dead and dying trees. Some hardwood companies actually create spalted wood. They take the cut logs and bury them in sawdust and keep them moist to grow the bacteria. If you take a fresh piece of spalted wood and put it in a plastic bag with a regular piece of wood, the spalting bacteria will actually transfer to the other piece of wood as well.

The spalting in the wood is completely random and does not follow any pattern such as the wood grain. It is the spalting bacteria that produce the different colors and black lines in the wood. Since the spalting is actually decaying the wood, you have to use it at the right stage. Very late stage spalted wood will actually be like balsa wood. The later the stage of the spalting, the more beautiful the colors can be. The spalting process can be stopped by drying the wood.

Although man can help start the spalting process, the colors, patterns and black lines are designed only by Mother Nature.

Stabilizing was developed so this soft wood can be used for things like knife handles and gun grips and other things. Once the wood is stabilized. its properties are much stronger than the actual hard wood that is not spalted.