Snakewood, also called letterwood, Amourette or lettre moucheté (Piratinera guianensis) is an incredibly beautiful wood that comes from South American Guyana and Surinam and is mainly shipped from Paramaribo, Surinam. This small tree is selectively felled with axes and carried on the back by hard working natives over streams and through large jungle areas. Each tree felled is monitored, and the government has developed a strict permit process to control harvesting. Much of the wood has inferior or no figure, only the small amount of mostly 15-20 cm diameter stems that have attractive figure is been exported all over the world. The colour is deep dark reddish brown with irregular black speckles or stripes with fine texture and high lustre, reminding of snakeskin or leopards fur. This wood is very difficult to work with, it tends to develop cracks in every stage and you have to expect that tiny hairline cracks may occur when working on a piece. There is no such thing as snake-wood logs without cracks, and all pieces of snake-wood have at least hairline cracks, whether visible or not. Due to limited availability and much demand the prices for superior quality snake-wood are very high- but this unique wood is worth it!
Sample photos, actual pieces may differ.
A hint: This wood is very difficult to work with, it tends to crack at any time and you have to expect hairline cracks when working on a piece. There is no such thing as snake-wood without cracks, and all pieces of snake-wood have at least hairline cracks, whether visible or not. Please you do not expose the wood to sudden and strong temperature and humidity alterations, snakewoods tendency to crack is legendary....