What is Bog Oak? (Updated)

Long ago, Ireland was covered in dense forests of oak, yew and pine. As the country became populated the forests were cut down for shelter, firewood and the making of boats and rafts for hauling materials and the land was cleared to make way for agriculture. In recent years a lot of the felled trees have been uncovered in our bogs during the land reclamation.  

The acidic and anaerobic nature of the peat has preserved the timber resulting in what we now call Bog Oak and Bog Deal. The oak is a hardwood and is stained black by tannis in the acidic water. Deal comes from the yew or pine tree, is softer and generally stained brown. 

Example of Bog Oak from Croagh Patrick Crafts

Our bog oak is all sourced from fields and bogs on and around Croagh Patrick. It is a rare form of timber that is claimed to be "comparable to some of the world's most expensive tropical hardwoods”.

Some of our pieces are hundreds even thousands of years old, so every piece is a link to our rich past and as such, is handled with extreme care. Every piece that is found or excavated is brought home and store in a shed to dry out. It can take several years for a piece to dry out enough to be ready for carving.

Once a piece of bog wood is brought to the workshop, it is cleaned of any loose wood and carved to accentuate the woods natural shape. A coat of oil is then applied to the finished product to replace the resins lost during the drying and sculpting process.

Each of the pieces that you see here on our website has gone through this arduous process but they are defiantly worth the time and effort when we can sit back and look at them. Now each piece is available to you so why not enquire about a piece to learn the story behind it and possibly take home your own piece of history.  

~ Chris Grady

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