Swietenia mahagonia, known as Jamaican or Cuban Mahogany, is native to the West Indies and South Florida. It is much denser and stronger than any other mahogany and was so sought after by European furniture makers in the 18th century, that the tree was forced to the brink of extinction.Today, the only timber available is from reclaimed wood. I source the wood from a lumber dealer in the Redlands, who mills trees, which have fallen naturally during a storm or hurricane.
Terminalia catappa, known as West Indian or Tropical Almond, is an invasive species, native toAsia. These trees are being removed from Miami Dade and Broward counties as part of a plan to manage invasive species. The timber is richly grained and very suited to furniture making. I source the reclaimed timber from a wood shop in Miami.
Taxodium distichum, known as Swamp, Bald or Tidewater Cypress, is native to the Southeastern US. It has a long history of use in Florida, with artifacts dating back thousands of years. Its naturally occurring terpene makes the wood largely resistant to rot and insect damage, so it was used by the Calusa, the first European settlers, the Seminoles and eventually was exported all over the country and Europe. Today, the only remaining old growth trees in Florida are found in Big Cypress. The timbers I use are reclaimed sinker cypress, logs that sank centuries ago as they were floated downstream to the sawmill.
A corraline limestone known as Keystone, which was formerly quarried in the Florida Keys. The Pleistocene stone is composed of lithified corals. Brain and Elk horn corals are clearly visible. The reefs and sandbars were exposed during the last ice age and fossilized to form the stone of the Florida Keys. I source from the only vendor, which has material that was quarried over 50 years ago.
Palmoxylon, the fossilized form of palm wood, comes from palm trees that grew along the southeastern United States between 33-56 million years ago. These trees were submerged as sea levels rose during a period of glacial warming, preserving the wood in its petrified form. I source from a vetted source that collects the specimens from the Catahoula Formation in Texas andLouisiana.
Alligatoridae mississippiensis is found throughout the southeastern United States, but it is Florida’s most iconic animal. Habitat loss and over hunting brought the species to the brink of extinction by the 1960s. Today their numbers have rebounded thanks to regulation and science based management of the species. I source wild alligator from LA and FL, legally harvested as part of a certified program that funds research, regulation and habitat preservation.