Le Néflier

The medlar

There is in our forests, a very special type of wood, a rare and singular tree whose precious branches are worked for years by hand : it is called the Medlar. It grows here, wild, deeply hidden in  the forrest, protected by ramparts of  brambles. Both sturdy and easy to work, it is exclusively used to make the Makila, the famous shepperds' stick. Its fruit, Mizpira in basque, gave its name to our first creation, Mizpira. 

Scarification

Just like the makila, the handles of our knives made of medlar are embellisged of mysterious lines and arabesques... Theses unusual reliefs are actually the scars of notches that we have made to the wood while it was growing. So, this work starts before the section, in the spring, when we go unearth it at the heart of the forrest, select the most beautiful branches that we incise carrefully according to an ancestral procedure. 

Collect

In november, here comes the time to collect the wood. The sap has done its job during the summer and the branches now bear its new character. Each branche attire itself of scars, sometimes very deep, sometimes smooth, offering its distinction to the medlar wood. 

Ovening and perspiration

During the years of drying, many operations are made on each branche of medlar. The very first of them is the ovening which allows us to break the bark. With the heat, drops drip at the end of the branches. 

Debarking

The woods are immediatly taken by hand when they are out of the oven. We have to twist over every branche carefully to not break it, so that we can break the bark. This operation requires control and a lot of energy because time is pressing before the branche gets cold and loose its flexibility. 

Peeling

This fine operation is one of the last step of the work. It consists in remove by hand the last traces of bark on the medlar branches. The final step is a secret procedure which give to the bare wood its warm and colorful patina.